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888 Seafood Restaurant (Rosemead CA)
||8450 Valley Boulevard,|
Rosemead, CA 91770
Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Summer Volume: 2007 Issue: 14(2) page: 25
This seafood Restaurant has dim sum carts on patrol and management supervising them and everything else. One captain saw us writing and heard us discussing their food. Almost immediately, general manager Mr. Lee was at our table asking if everything was as it should be. Noting professional interests, he took our chef-companion and this editor into the kitchen to see how they do things. It was an impressive unannounced visit to their 'back of the house' facility. It was huge, spotless, well-organized, and filled with people pleased to be making good food. They did appreciate our interest.
Known for their Hong-Kong and Chiu Chow style dim sum and delicious desserts, this not new, but surely nifty, eatery seats nearly eight hundred and it seems to please almost every one of them. At that day's dim sum delight, and another day at dinner, we see this busy restaurant at work. In the evening, we see folks at two tables for ten devouring separate banquet dinner meals. It is during the week, and we are told by a Los Angeles restaurant reviewer that on week-ends plan to wait for a table for more than half an hour. Lucky, we did not have that experience.
A bowl of Shark's Fin Soup is tasty and classic. So is the dim sum shark's fin soup dumpling; it is in a superior stock. It even comes in its own small crock. The dough in this, and all other dumplings is tender and tasty. The dumpling itself is chock-full of sea food, vegetables, and a goodly amount of shark's fin needles. It is not on a circulating cart that day, though we are told sometimes it is. Nonetheless, it is one of our favorite foods there, and we are glad to delight when consuming it.
Mr. Lee tells us that 888 has been making good food for thirteen plus years. He also expounds on his exceptionally well-trained staff, a staff he personally oversees. Another source of pride is that 888 is on many folk's must go often list. He also boasts it is often reported as one of Los Angeles 'Top 10 Best.' Rosemead is east of the towns of Monterey Park and San Gabriel in The Valley and we are glad we finally made time to drive in that direction.
We see why this football field-size elegant eatery is popular. The waiters are nicely-vested and helpful, and the food they bring out is prepared with care. A simple congee, for example, the one made with thousand-year-eggs buried for about one hundred days; it is wonderful and creamy. The home-made soft tofu is silken and super. It comes wonderfully warm in its large English-and Chinese-labeled rice-cooker container. These and other dishes make dim sum meals loaded with good beginnings, great middles, and excellent endings. Kids of all ages love the lovely-looking orange gelatin in actual orange skins. These visuals are views on 888's attention to food looking fine and tasting fantastic.
The regular menu has a healthy assortment of Chiu-chow dishes, a page with oodles of shark's fin features, and others with typical, usual, and unusual Hong Kong-style Cantonese sea food, meat, poultry, and vegetable dishes. Our group tries quite a few and are pleased with every one of them. The three soups we taste are terrific. The casserole with eggplant fired-over and filled with caramelized flavors is a winner, and another casserole with fish is simply phenomenal. Here, taro dishes are soft and savory, and every dish we order arrives wanting to be devoured.
Mr. Lee tells us that Henry Wong is the owner and he partners with family. Mr. Lee himself has been there close to thirteen years and he seriously trains staff, and it shows. His job is a big one as 888 employs about one hundred and thirty folk. Mr. Lee has lots of varied training himself; his restaurant experience includes stints in Hanoi and Los Angeles.
Our super dinner and the delicious dim sum savored here allow experiencing fine foods made by chefs from China, Hong Kong, and Vietnam. Yes, 888 is a lucky number for the Chinese and this one is a winning place for its customers. It is an eatery in Los Angeles that reinforces need to return. It is a restaurant that John Kirch touts in Wonton Lust (reviewed in this magazine's Volume 5) in his: Search for the World's Best Chinese Restaurants.