Half my family lives in Los Angeles and half in the Bay Area, so we all go back and forth a lot. My brothers and I were chatting the other day, and realized that none of us have ever taken any of the little cousins for dim sum at a place that serves from carts.
Thanksgiving is up north this year, so that might be a fun thing to do. Any recommendations? Nothing too fancy, the children range from 6-months to fourteen, but it would be great if the grown-ups could enjoy some good food as long as we’re there.
Then you’d have to add ABC in Foster City, which is a bit greasier than East Ocean but I think the atmosphere is more fun.
Doesn’t Koi Palace do carts on weekends? At least, maybe they do both, where the “specials” are on a check-sheet and the more normal stuff is on carts?
Carts seem to have died out a bit, and I don’t miss them. You spend more time wondering what is what, and what’s going to come out next, instead of checking off dishes. Carts did have mystery and fun factor.
These recommendations are much appreciated, sounds like there are some good choices all over the spectrum. I’ll report back and let you know how it went. I’m guessing the egg custard pie cart will be waved over a lot.
Koi Palace has carts for specific things: steamed tripe, steamed innards, sampan jook, some dessert things that I don’t know what they are. Pretty much everything else is ordered from the check-list or from trays circulated by servers. But don’t count on getting what you want from the trays. We think of those as a surprise addition. Anything we definitely want we order from the menu.
Dim sum is fresher when ordered from the kitchen, and it’s easier to plan a meal with the check menu, but carts encourage you to try new things. The last time I was at East Ocean I asked one of the cart ladies if she had the pineapple (custard) buns. She didn’t, but later when she came by she stopped and gave me some. Service from a cart lady is why I love East Ocean!
I just realized I never reported back to this thread. Thanks for the responses, it was a great list of recommendations, some of which I’ve filed away for future reference.
We ended up going to Harbor Villa (formerly All Seasons) on Diamond Heights. It was very decent, lots of food, the duck, the broccoli and water spinach ordered off the regular menu were good, and the dumplings were all flavorful with nice wrappers, except the soup dumplings. Very thick skin and filling was bland. Stay away from those and the greasy, thin flavorless scallion dumplings.
Other than that, it was a very nice dim sum brunch, the service was super friendly and on point, and the kids had a blast. I was surprised how good the egg tarts were, we had to get extra.