The Looking Glass

The Looking Glass

The Department of Psychology


RAY'S GUIDE TO GOURMET AND FRUGAL DINING

Raymond Lim

In this issue of my "Guide to Gourmet and Frugal Dining," I will introduce you to a special treat that most Westerners have not yet experienced. This treat is called "Dim Sum." Dim Sum originated long ago in the province of Canton, China. The definition of Dim Sum can be construed from many meanings. However, I have one that makes very good sense. The word "Dim" means point, choose, or small; "Sum" means from the heart or of the heart. Dim Sum can then be defined as "small choices of the heart," poetically speaking.

The act of Dim Sum differs from what we consider as a "typical" setting in a Chinese restaurant; I would simply describe it as a "rolling buffet cart." Yes, the food is literally on carts. It is prepared fresh in the kitchen and then rolled out to customers waiting at their tables. Each cart is loaded with food. It is then wheeled around to each table in the restaurant. The term Dim (point) comes into play when you do exactly that -- point at the food item in the cart. Each food item is prepared meticulously so each portion is small. Dim Sum is not considered a meal, but a snack early in the afternoon.

This type of dining, I would say, is more on the gourmet end of dining because of its price. Prices in a good Dim Sum restaurant range from $5.00 to $15.00 per person; this, of course, depends on what you order or Dim out. Some of the items may be too exotic for those without a trained palate. So, here are some items that I recommend you order:

Cha Siu Boa comes either baked with a honey-glazed top or steamed bun filled with barbecued pork.

Nga Yout Kao is basically a seasoned meatball that is very healthy because it is cooked by steaming.

Cheung fun comes in shrimp, beef, or pork. It is a rice noodle that has your choice of fillings.

THai goa and Siu Mai are favorites among seafood lovers. These foods are filled with shrimp and other ingredients that I am not familiar.

The above is a small list of items you can choose. I recommend that you save room for some dessert such as mango pudding, almond Jell-O, or tapioca pudding.

One restaurant I recommend is Pacific Seafood, located 2223 W. Commonwealth Ave., in front of Price Club. Pacific Seafood is located across the old Sears Building that is now "Toys R Us." This restaurant opens their doors at 10:00 a.m. and serves Dim Sum until they are all out -- somewhere around noon.

The second restaurant I recommend is Lincoln Plaza, located in the Lincoln Plaza hotel. This restaurant is located at 123 S. Lincoln Ave. It is half a block south of Garvey Blvd. and Lincoln Ave. Just like the other restaurant, Dim Sum is served until somewhere around noon.

One last thing I would recommend from the host or hostess when you dine at these places: Ask for a table near the kitchen. A majority of food does get picked early, so if you are at the end of the line, you probably wonÂ’t get what you want.

Here are my ratings:

RestaurantQualityRatings
Pacific Seafood:Taste:
Atmosphere:
Price:
8 Chopsticks
8 Chopsticks
9 Chopsticks
Lincoln Plaza: Taste:
Atmosphere:
Price:
8 Chopsticks
9 Chopsticks
8 Chopsticks


Tune in next time for a surprise.
I might be reviewing a restaurant of your choice


Prepared bymroffe@calstatela.edu -- This edition update by cconkli@calstatela.edu

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