Dim Sum and Then Sum

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

On Sunday, one of the hottest days of the year, I went closer to the sun.

First, my friend Barbara and I went to The Kitchen for dim sum in Alhambra. It was a first visit for both of us, and it was tasty. Armed with Jonathan Gold's review in the LA Weekly, we were sure to order the Salt-and-Pepper Tofu and Green Tea Balls. The rest of the dim sum was pretty typical. It was Hong Kong-style so we ordered off a menu - it wasn't a room filled with carts.

Next, we went to see the newly opened Chinese Gardens at The Huntington in San Marino. The kid's garden was lovely because they had "rainbow makers" AKA misters! And, although I think it is the most beautiful garden in the place, we avoided the Desert Garden because it was sooooo hot.

Here are some photos!

The Kitchen (Alhambra) Dim Sum The Kitchen (Alhambra) Dim Sum
The Kitchen (Alhambra) Dim Sum The Kitchen (Alhambra) Dim Sum
Fried Green Tea Balls filled with sesame bean paste, dumplings, salt-and-pepper tofu at The Kitchen in Alhambra

Huntington Library & Gardens
The Huntington's newest garden

Huntington Library & Gardens Huntington Library & Gardens
Huntington Library & Gardens Huntington Library & Gardens
Huntington Library & Gardens
There was a large lake in the center of the Chinese garden

Huntington Library & Gardens Huntington Library & Gardens
The Rose Levy Botanical Conservatory is filled with wonderful plants and different environments

Huntington Library & Gardens
Japanese Garden at The Huntington
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Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

I miss dim sum! Looks like you had a lovely day.

Unknown said... [Reply to comment]

It was Saturday...Sunday was my lame ass date! And I want the picture of the 2 of us!

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

A baker! A librarian! A Bruin fan! An elegant writer! Everything good rolled up into one!

Anyway, the Kitchen was quite good when it opened, but the original staff seemed to have dispersed pretty quickly and it's no longer among the very best places for dim sum. These days, Capital (carts), Elite (no carts) and Seafood Harbour (no carts) are probably the best places to go for dim sum in the SGV; 888, Seaworld, Triumphal Palace, Mission 261 and Empress Pavilion are in the tier just below.

I really like your blog. And am similarly blocked when it comes to rolling out piecrust.

The Food Librarian said... [Reply to comment]

Thanks for the comments! I'll have to try these other dim sum places. I like Mission 261 but haven't been in years...I love that you can have dim sum there and then visit the SG Mission. So LA! Thanks for the recommendations and for reading my blog. This summer's resolution - pie crust so I can have a vehicle to eat all that summer fruit from the farmer's market!

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

261 too has gone into decline - most of the kitchen team went back to Hong Kong - but the dim sum is still quite good.

My mom was a librarian, UCLA MLS, pie-baking genius who made piecrust seem so simple. I baked along with her many times, but the recipe, such as it was, ended up being almost word-for-word Joy of Cooking, early-fifties edition, when the accepted formula was 2 tbsp butter, 3 tbsp lard. I think it must be all in the fingers, because I've never been able to replicate the tender, buttery, flaky thing in quite the same way. And I've tried everything: home-rendered leaf lard, Rose Berenbaum's method, the southern trick of chipping off nibs of frozen butter and smashing them into flat coins with a hammer; fingers, knves and pastry cutters; pyrex, ceramic and antique iron pie plates . . . it is a journey. Best of luck on yours.

Jess said... [Reply to comment]

Hello Food Librarian...it's one of your favorite guest bloggers! I have been following the dim sum conversation for some good leads and I have made a list of places that I want to try. I do have to ask though...is the j gold who posted comments the very j gold whose review you were armed with when you went to Kitchen? It's possible that the recommendations given might carry more weight if it is, or at the very least I would know who I am praising (or cursing) when I eat at the recommended spots. ; P

curiousdomestic said... [Reply to comment]

What a lovely garden. I love dim sum. 8)

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