UPDATED: Dim Sum at Capital Seafood 金都 in Beverly Hills
UPDATED: Please advance to the end of the post.
Ever since the loss of Royal Star in Santa Monica around the turn of the century, and the change of ownership of VIP Harbor Seafood Restaurant in Brentwood that became The Palace, the westside of Los Angeles became deficient of a Chinese restaurant that can serve up an excellent and complete dim sum menu. The opening of Capital Seafood in Beverly Hills (taking over the space that was previously occupied by Newport Seafood Restaurant) has changed that, bringing solid quality dim sum that is better than The Palace, but cheaper than Bao Dim Sum in the Fairfax District and Shanghai Rose in Studio City. Interestingly, this Capital Seafood is affiliated with the location in Arcadia but not the ones in Irvine.
While most of the items were solid and were prepared well (the rice noodle wrap dishes featured rice noodle sheets that were thin and soft, but not overcooked and gummy).
The Salt Pepper Soft Shell Crab was wok tossed not only in salt and white pepper but also ample amount of minced garlic, chopped chiles, and scallions. The flavor was bold with a nice peppery and spicy kick to it.
However, there were a few dishes with issues, particularly the Minced Beef Balls. They were made with too much filler (usually corn starch) in it that made it relatively flavorless and very pasty in texture.
The Leaf Wrapped Sticky Rice were rather small in size, and there wasn’t much filling inside the rice.
For me, the Seafood Crispy Noodles was executed well, but the dish’s quality was diminished by the use of imitation crab meat. Rather than imitation crab meat, perhaps the usage of a few bay scallops would provide the variety of ample seafood, without increasing the costs of the dish.
And for a more upscale style of dim sum place, their service was wonderful and attentive.
Pricing for their dim sum are broken down into 4 tiers: “A” level dim sum is $4.95 per order, “B” level is $5.95, “C” level is $6.95, and “K” level is $7.95. “K” dim sum are usually the vegetable dishes, as well as specialty dim sum dishes such as Salt Pepper Calamari or Salt Pepper Chicken Knuckles. The pricing is actually very reasonable for the area and for the quality of the dim sum you are getting.
UPDATED: Since posting a review on Yelp mentioning the strange consistency and taste of the Beef Meatballs; the deficient amount of filling the Lotus Leaf Wrapped Sticky Rice; and the use of imitation crab meat in the Seafood Chow Mein with crispy noodles, their PR person sent me message indicating that they had taken my critique wholeheartedly and have asked their chefs to rework on the recipe for the Beef Balls; swapped the imitation crab meat out of the Seafood Chow Mein with crispy noodles with snow crab meat (though very little, while keeping the price the same); and making sure the ratio of meat filling to the Lotus Leaf Wraps are consistent.
The Lotus Leaf Wraps made with sticky rice are more enjoyable as you do bite into seasoned ground pork now. Before, you could hardly taste anything aside from the sticky rice.
The Beef Balls have a much better consistency to them now. They are no longer pasty in taste and in texture. But the flavor isn’t quite there yet, so perhaps you may want to have them douse some Worcestershire sauce over them (influence by the British in Hong Kong pre-1997).
However, now, I find issues with their salt-pepper dishes (the protein is given a much too thick of a coating, making the outside thick and too crunchy), and the bean curd skin rolls (the sauce has too much corn starch in it, so when the dish is served, you can see the gelatinous nature of the sauce).
But their roast duck was delicious. Skin was roasted to a nice crispiness. And for $18.95, that was quite a sizable half-duck.