A Tale of Two Dim Sum and Banquet Palaces: Capital + Ocean Star, Monterey Park

by Jessica on July 3, 2013


“Why not branch out to the SGV and all those great Chinese places? They were our favorites when our kids were little,” reads an early comment posted almost three years ago when this site was brand new and fresh.

Well, we do, and we have! I’m just a little bit behind lately. Here are a couple well-known places to chose from at the mega intersection of Atlantic and Garvey.


Flashback to a very successful San Gabriel outing that happened a few months ago. (What can I say abou the delay. Time flies, right?) I call it successful because when you have three blogging families getting together with their kids, which also means all of those kids’ parents’ loud mouths plus no shortage of opinions, it’s best to hit a massive dim sum house in Monterey Park. In this instance, it was Capital Seafood, where I’d once sat with a friend from the Midwest who was so super eager to show his willingness and adventurous eating spirit that he made his way through nibbling on chicken feet while the manager smiled and approved. I don’t think my friend enjoyed the feet all that much, but he was raised right and to be polite, and so his handling of this experience probably would have made his parents proud. Anyway, turns out my youngest son himself sampled pickled duck feet this past weekend at Embassy Kitchen in San Gabriel (a post for another time, perhaps). But I digress!


I’m breaking my usual template form here, because when it comes to large Chinese restaurants in the SGV, that reader is right. There are hardly any drawbacks. C’mon. The food instantly appears! It’s fast in and out. Even the toughest, most high-maintenance eater, who claims to dislike Chinese food or thinks it’s only good in New York City or wants to only go to places where the kind waiters will know what you’re talking about when you order “moo shEE pork” or whatever, can pick at a bowl of rice grain by grain to his/her heart’s content until everyone else has finished up their feasting. Chances are they’ll eat the har gow and steamed buns and savory pancakes and all the other insane amounts of food that constitute this morning meal.

It’s impossible not to love the beautiful green crystalline veggie dumplings that came towards the end of the brunch at Capital Seafood. Could I say no to a dish of pan fried noodles topped with seafood and veggies afterward? Of course not.


Ocean Star Restaurant is across Atlantic Blvd., and while obviously a popular spot and met the approval of my sister-in-law’s parents visiting from Vancouver, it’s not as posh as Capital, where the columns gleam brightly, the carpet is fresher, and the fish swim in clearer water tanks. But it’s FULL of big families, and any restaurant that has the posted legal capacity of 600+ is clearly going to cater to some unruly crowds. Noodles with chicken and mushrooms were among my favorite dishes, plus some sweet clams, and my older son ate an entire plate of custard cups. Not really a part of this nutritious dim sum breakfast. Oh well. For $1.98 an item, we’ll be back to try more again there, too.



755 W. Garvey Ave., Monterey Park
(626) 282-3318


145 N. Atlantic Blvd. #201-203, Monterey Park
(626) 308-2128

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Steve July 7, 2013 at 11:09 am

Screaming voices are welcome additions to the din even amid the ersatz luxury of Shanghai Seafood No. 1. (I must assume the owner has a deadpan sense of humor.) How could parents not love dim sum houses?

By the way, NYC Chinese food is the best, easily better than LA, perhaps better than the finest in China. Have you been to Shun Lee? They even accommodate kosher diners. LA could never top that.


Jessica July 20, 2013 at 10:23 am

We’ve got some kosher Chinese joints here, but yes, not quite at level of Shun Lee. That said, I’ve gotten serious sticker shock the times we’ve ordered Shun Lee to go or for delivery.


Steve July 25, 2013 at 2:40 pm

I’m just joking about Shun Lee. Braggadocio about Shun Lee is as silly as the UES.


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