Los Angeles: Sea Empress Seafood Restaurant

Tags: Seafood

Sea Empress Seafood Restaurant is rated one of the highest in dim sum in Gardena. Authentic Chinese food, in particular dim sum, is hard to find in Los Angeles unless you ask a local. They would tell you to go to the areas that are heavily populated by Chinese, like Chinatown in DTLA, Alhambra, and San Gabriel. Since authentic dim sum is so hard to find in the South Bay, I felt sharing the Sea Empress Seafood Restaurant is called for.

Dim sum is my favorite type of Chinese cuisine. Dim sum is prepared as small bite-sized portions of food served in small steamer baskets or on small plates. Typically served are various forms of dumplings and buns that are either steamed or fried with various savory and sweet fillings. Dim sum is basically a tapas version of Chinese cuisine only served at lunch time.

The Sea Empress often gets pretty busy on the weekends so you may have a little wait. However, it is really worth it. Not only is the food authentic and delicious, but the price is really good. Each plate of food is typically between $3-$7. Everything is meant to be shared and you want to go with a sizable group so you can try more. I’d say a group of 6 is perfect.

The service is very fast. Carts of food will come around and you just point at what you want. They mark your check with the plates you took and that’s it! If you need more tea at the table, flag anyone down (besides the ones operating the carts) or just turn the top of the teapot over (authentic Chinese places will recognize this as a sign of an empty teapot).

There are so many delicious items that I don’t know where to start!

Sea Empress Savory favorites

    • Sugar Cane Shrimp = fried shrimp on a stick of sugar cane, usually really good with mayo
    • Har Gow = shimp dumplings in rice noodle
    • Lo Mai Gai = sticky rice with vegetables and meat wrapped and steamed in a lotus leaf
    • Rice Noodle Roll = thick rice noodles stuffed with your choice of meat covered in sweet sauce
    • Shumai (or siumai) = ground pork and mushroom dumplings
    • Gai-Lan Chinese Broccoli = green vegetables steamed and topped with thick sweet sauce

Sea Empress Sweet favorites

    • Pineapple Bun = sweet bun topped with a sweet citrus crust and stuffed with a pineapple paste
    • Jian Dui = fried rice pastry coated in sesame seeds and stuffed with a sweet bean paste
    • Egg Custard Tart = flaky, buttery puff pastry crust with a sweet egg custard filling

Dim sum is one of my ultimate comfort foods. It takes me back to my childhood when we would visit my Chinese grandparents in Chinatown once a month. We would always visit for lunch over a dim sum meal and then buy sweets to take home from a local bakery. While this time was precious to my mother as she could catch up with family, this was an intimate time for me with my father (German Irish who could not speak Cantonese either). We would spend the day talking together and sharing our favorite parts of the unusual Chinese cuisine. It reminds me that dim sum is family time for me, so whomever I share dim sum with is my family. 🙂

Sea Empress Seafood Restaurant (1636 W. Redondo Beach Blvd., Gardena, CA 90247) 310-538-6868

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