The Real Chinatown

The country's most authentic and delicious dim sum can be found in LA's San Gabriel Valley.

Ariana Lindquist

The best dim sum in LA isn't in the historic Chinatown, downtown. You can find it just 20 minutes east of there, in the San Gabriel Valley, which is home to the largest population of Chinese immigrants in the country. Here, every morning, families and groups of businessmen head to Elite Restaurant, an unassuming three-year-old eatery, for traditional Hong Kong-style dim sum. The scene at Elite is crowded and convivial as waiters rush steaming bowls of congee from the kitchen to tables already piled high with all manner of dumplings, from meaty pork siu mai to delicate shrimp ha gau, and cheung fun, steamed rice noodle sheets wrapped around seafood or seasoned ground beef. The cooks, who were all trained in Hong Kong, make each dish exactly as you would find it there. (See ** Every Flavor in China** for a guide to Chinese food in the San Gabriel Valley.)