My family are dim sum fanatics, and we head to the San Gabriel Valley once or twice per month for a dim sum fix. For years, my favorite dim sum in the San Gabriel Valley has been the elegant Sea Harbor restaurant in Rosemead. Lately, we've also been spending some time at Elite Restaurant as well as our traditional cart-palace favorite, NBC. Lately though, I've yearned for something new, so we recently tried King Hua, a relatively new Alhambra dim sum restaurant with chefs who came from Sea Harbor.
Upon entering King Hua, it's impossible not to notice how much the place looks like Sea Harbor. It's an almost identically sized restaurant with an almost identical layout, so much so that one of my dining companions who I had recently taken to Sea Harbor asked me if this wasn't the same place.
The similarities don't end when you sit down. The menu looks almost exactly like the Sea Harbor menu. Not surprisingly, the food is also similar, though everything is just a little bit better. The flavors are a bit sharper, the shrimp a bit plumper, the sticky rice a bit more saturated in meat juice, the spare ribs a bit more garlicky. Shen jian bao (Shanghianese buns) are one of my favorite dishes anywhere, but King Hua's were especially good with a more flavorful porky filling than some other dim sum versions.
Given that King Hua was not only fabulous, but also a bit closer to me than Sea Harbor, I'm guessing this will enter the regular family dum sum rotation.
King Hua Restaurant, Inc.
2000 W. Main St. (between Fremont and Atlantic)
Alhambra, CA 91801