Our last day in LA, Jason took us to Monterey Park (where he grew up) for dim sum. The neighborhood boasts the largest population of people of Chinese descent in the US. I was excited. On Jason’s recommendation, we decided on Ocean Star.
I had just taken a killer yoga class and was starving, as were the boys. As soon as we were seated, we began selecting dish after dish from the passing carts. We should have been more patient, waiting for favorite dishes, but our stomachs got the best of us.
Above are the dishes we ordered (click on any photo for a larger view). I know the proper names for some of them, for others I’m going to bastardize the names, I apologize in advance.
Top row: fish balls, Chinese doughnut (the main mistake of the afternoon), cart with a carved watermelon.
Middle row: char siu bao (barbecued pork buns), large flat rice noodle with soy sauce, red bean desserts (my favorite).
Bottom row: har gao (shrimp dumplings), shiu mai (pork and shrimp dumplings), egg custard buns (Jason’s favorite)
I ate too fast, and the grease factor didn’t help. By the end of the meal I was full but still hadn’t eaten everything I wanted to, having filled up too quickly on whatever came by first. The doughnut was a big mistake, but the red bean paste-filled desserts (much like Japanese mochi desserts, but greasier) were delicious.
Dim sum (much like cheap Indian food) is often a good idea beforehand, and a very bad one afterwards. We all got hit with a case of dim sum belly, that I-swallowed-a-grease-coated-bowling-ball feeling that doesn’t go away, no matter how much water you drink. We drove home and all passed out for afternoon naps.
If your stomach is up for it, Ocean Star is the real deal.