Sea Harbour: I Love The Smell of Tendon in The Morning
In exotica-obsessed Los Angeles, it is perhaps not unusual to dine on things like spinach sauteed with minced foie gras, steamed rice sheets with bitter melon, fried ox tripe and tendon with noodle rolls, dumplings stuffed with chestnut and shrimp, or claypot rice with house-cured duck, sausage and pork. But it is perhaps odd to eat like this at 10 in the morning, as part of a dim sum breakfast.
Anne Fishbein One of the many intriguing dishes at Sea Harbour.
Sea Harbour has long been one of the major Cantonese seafood restaurants in the San Gabriel Valley, a direct import from Vancouver, and it introduced the concept of ordering with checklists, instead of from carts, nearly a decade ago. But as the level of most other local dim sum restaurants has stayed mostly the same in the last several years, Sea Harbour seems driven by a different sort of competition, perhaps from restaurants in Hong Kong and Shenzen, because there always seems to be something we've never seen before -- duck kidneys fried with shiso; XO-encrusted radish cubes in pastry cups -- as well as the usual har gow, and snow buns, and fried chicken winglets dusted in pepper salt.
Sea Harbour is a bit more expensive than most other dim sum palaces in town, but sometimes congee with carp belly, steamed egg tofu with dried scallops, or fried chicken knees are worth the price.