When hankering for some dim sum, it is most convenient when you’re standing somewhere in Monterey Park or Alhambra area. In fact, anywhere in the San Gabriel Valley area will do. Beverly Hills is NOT a good spot to be in — or is it?
I searched on Yelp and found Bao Dim Sum which had a four and a half star average. Despite my skepticism we went ahead and checked it out.
When we entered I immediately started to worry. The place was SO fancy and pretty inside. This is the kind of place you’d find in Hong Kong, except, in HK, the dim sum is really good. My fears started to mount even more. What to do?
The only thing to do was to order a few items — since we were already here — and suck it up. The menu was simple, just the items people are most familiar with although there were some of the more traditionally Cantonese dim sum like tripe. No chicken’s feet were in sight though. Everything was a little more expensive than what you would get in Chinatown, or San Gabriel Valley.
Nevertheless, we ordered some dim sum and waited for it to arrive. Pork and shrimp shu mai ($5.25 ) was steaming hot. We ordered two baskets because my friend is a shu mai fiend.
They looked good, albeit bigger than I would’ve liked, but I tucked into one and was blown away by how good it was. WOW! This was better than a lot of the more so-called traditional dim sum places. The flavor was perfect with an even pork to shrimp ratio. I ate a few of these and I don’t even like shu mai!
Har gow ($4.95) or shrimp dumplings were also really good. The wrapper was not super thick like most places (I hate that) and you could tell it was super fresh because they were steamed to order. The shrimp had a nice snap and the wrapper was soft enough to not interfere with the filling.
Naturally, I had to order one of more ‘unique’ items so Beef Tripe in XO sauce ($5.25) was it. Although I didn’t detect any XO sauce, the ginger and scallion did enough to give it the familiar taste I needed. Plus, this is the way I’m accustomed to, not with XO sauce, although that sounded really good too.
Our server suggested Chicken Dumplings ($5.25). She said they are not what people expect and they are not the usual dumplings (potstickers) you get everywhere.
When they arrived I knew exactly what they were. I usually hate these because they use the wrapper made out of rice which gives them a sticky texture. These had the regular gyoza wrappers but were formed like a pattie rather than a “dumpling”. They were SO good! I’m glad we ordered these.
Usually we never leave without consuming about 10-12 dishes, but we were full after five. The dim sum here are all larger than usual — which kinda makes up for the slightly higher prices — but then you fill up quicker.
Dim sum is best eaten with a larger group for a bigger variety but from what we sampled, this is solid dim sum fare, even if in Beverly Hills! I won’t hesitate to return again in the future if craving dim sum and in the area.
Bao Dim Sum House
8256 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90048