You know you've stumbled into a quality dim sum restaurant when the chef is generous with the roe on top of the shu mai — no pathetic sprinkling of orange here. Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant is one of the few dim sum places that really pays attention to both quality and portions. Although the restaurant has become a mecca of sorts for hard-core dim sum pursuants, there is no loss of authenticity. The staff is pure Cantonese. Even fluent Mandarin speakers struggle a bit, but the language barrier isn't that big an issue when you order off a checklist accompanied by a picture menu with numbers. Sorry, traditionalists: no carts. But what it loses with the lack of speeding dim sum ladies, the restaurant makes up for in atmosphere. There's no heckling or unbearable noise levels; you can enjoy your breakfast in peace. Dishes fly out of the kitchen steaming hot, and the restaurant makes a point of creating a menu that combines classic dim sum dishes (har gow, pork ribs, rice noodles) with eclectic new flavors (radish cubes in pastry cups, baked BBQ buns). The tab comes out a bit on the pricier side, but the selection, quantity, quality and overall attentiveness of the staff make Sea Harbour No. 1. 3939 Rosemead Blvd., Rosemead. (626) 288-3939 (no website).
—Clarissa Wei

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