Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ocean Star Seafood Restaurant (Dim Sum) - Monterey Park

Speaking of old school Chinese dim sum/seafood restaurants resting on their laurels, last summer I joined lil' sis and the oldest '87 for dim sum at Ocean Star Seafood Restaurant. Like NBC Seafood Restaurant, which is just down the road, the restaurants are huge, designed for large wedding banquets for about 500 people. Nonetheless, I've always had to wait for a table at NBC, not so with Ocean Star.

Ocean Star Seafood Restaurant (Dim Sum) - Monterey Park 1

We started off with my preferred chrysanthemum tea.

Ocean Star Seafood Restaurant (Dim Sum) - Monterey Park 2

And because these old dim sum houses still have pushcarts, ended up ordering almost all of our food at once. Clockwise from: steamed gai lan (Chinese broccoli) with oyster sauce, egg rolls, char siu bao (Chinese barbecued pork buns), har gow (Chinese shrimp dumplings), spare ribs in black bean sauce, chicken feet, a forgotten dumpling, and xiao long bao (Chinese soup dumplings).

Ocean Star Seafood Restaurant (Dim Sum) - Monterey Park 3

And we added in an order of siu mai (Chinese steamed meatballs).

Ocean Star Seafood Restaurant (Dim Sum) - Monterey Park 4

Then we added shrimp cheong fun and Chinese "doughnuts" wrapped in cheong fun.

Ocean Star Seafood Restaurant (Dim Sum) - Monterey Park 5

Then as we were finishing up our meal, lil' sis bit into a pebble that was inside an egg roll. Hard! She hurt her tooth since she wasn't expecting to find such a thing inside the soft fillings of her egg roll. :(

We waved down a waitress, who looked confused about what to do.

"What do you want me to do?" she asked us.

Well, I don't think we should pay for egg rolls in which there was obviously something inedible inside. The pebble was roughly about 1/4-inch in diameter, not a tiny little speck.

So she went to talk to her manager. Then came back and marked off the egg rolls from our bill.

Then she came back again and said we got free tea. Ooh, free tea, while lil' sis was still smarting from her hurt jaw. Except we were confused because we couldn't really understand what she said and couldn't read what she had written on the bill. Were we getting our meal comped?

So the oldest '87 then ordered a plate of jelly fish.

Ocean Star Seafood Restaurant (Dim Sum) - Monterey Park 6

Then we asked for the check.

Nope. Not comped. About $30 total if I remember correctly. Still a pretty good price for a dozen dishes.

Pebble incident aside, the dim sum at Ocean Star was perfectly decent. Good, just nothing spectacular. But risk biting into foreign objects in my food? Eh, haven't been back.

Other dim sum restaurant posts:
Bon Marche Bistro/B Village Cuisine (Dim Sum) - Monterey Park

Capital Dim Sum & BBQ - Monterey Park
CBS Seafood Restaurant (Dim Sum) - Los Angeles (Chinatown)
Dim Sum Express - Monterey Park
Elite Restaurant (Dim Sum) - Monterey Park
Full House Seafood Restaurant (Dim Sum) - Arcadia
Lunasia Chinese Cuisine (Dim Sum) - Alhambra
Yum Cha Cafe - San Gabriel

Ocean Star Seafood Restaurant
145 N Atlantic Blvd
Monterey Park, CA 91754
10 a.m. to 10 p.m.


  1. Boo to the pebble! I sometimes take newbies here because there is less of a wait, and there are carts.

  2. I haven't been back either after last year. They now have a C rating and the seafood wasn't fresh when we went. And the funny thing is, all the dishes we ordered other than a soy sauce marinated dish and a 99 cents chicken worse than average.

    I remember the days though when Ocean Star was always full on the weekends and we had to wait for a long time. Back then, what I remember most is their wonton soup for dim sum and their slow cooked pig feet in vinegar.

  3. WeeMo,
    Boo is right!

    C means better food right? ;) The food was just OK. A far cry from a decade ago. I'm not sure why either because there's still quite a bit of competition so quality should be better.

  4. Wandering Chopsticks,
    I totally agree with you- a far cry from a decade ago! I used to come here every weekend for dim sum.
    It looks like they have changed owners now. The Chinese name is different now; English name is the same.

  5. ETE,
    I'm sad that the old dim sum/seafood restaurants aren't as good as they used to be. Perhaps the ownership change is when the quality went down?


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