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King Hua is the latest combatant in the Cantonese banquet wars, a big, elegant dining room lined with fish tanks, lobby displays of XO cognac and Opus One, and elaborate wedding menus focused on crabs, endangered sea creatures and barbecued squab.The owners of King Hua seem to have leveraged away the Vancouver-trained dim sum chefs of Rosemead's excellent Sea Harbour, so that the morning kitchen is already one of the top two or three in town, and the crowds are already impenetrable. Like any fine dim sum restaurant, King Hua has its specific strengths: the gooey-skinned steamed shrimp dumplings called har gao, subtly flavored with white pepper; crisp, baked chicken buns whose creamy innards ooze like chicken Ã la king; flaky egg-custard tarts; and meltingly tender chicken feet braised in an angelica-scented broth. The signature dumpling is probably one stuffed with chopped shrimp and sauteed snow-pea shoots, whose top is trifurcated into a kind of clover decorated with wolfberries, peas and corn. And for dessert, you can get cubes of sweet amber gelatin in which red wolfberries and tiny white flowers float like a summer scene from an ancient scroll. Recommended dishes: steamed shrimp and pea-tip dumplings; steamed rice noodle with chicken and bitter melon; chicken feet with angelica in meat broth; har gao; fried chicken knees with spicy salt; wolfberry gelatin. See full review.
It’s 107 degrees in the San Gabriel Valley sun, a blasting heat with a sulfurous, hydrocarbon edge, and the sweating hordes packed inside the lobby of the new King Hua huddle under the one vent in the room that even promises a bit of cool,... More »
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