VIP Harbor Seafood – Because Sesame Balls are Cheaper than Gas

vip harbor seafood, los angeles, ca

VIP Harbor Seafood

11701 Wilshire Boulevard (at Barrington Avenue)
Los Angeles, CA 90025
310.979.3377
website

I try not to whine too much about the sorry state of certain things in our society overall for two reasons: 1) it’s depressing enough to whine about the sorry state of my flabby body as rendered by The Delicious Life, and 2) I just want to talk about myself and the sorry state of my flabby body as rendered by The Delicious Life.

I’m sort of self-centered and egotistical like that.

However, I can’t help but make mention in at least one paragraph of the ridiculosity of gasoline prices.

Gas prices are ridiculous.

Okay, thanks for letting me make mention.

This of course, has affected the way I live my life; it has prompted me to be more conservative. I rarely “go out” anymore because it pains me to fatten the fois gras profits of the petro companies by consuming their grossly overpriced product. I stay at home most of the time, and when an occasion rises that requires transportation, I walk. Bank, post office, grocery store, drug store, pizza, even a weekly farmers market, are all within walking distance. Take that, Chevron! See if I contribute to your daily diet of crude oil caviar and lobster!

Ah, how that makes me sound so very righteous.

However, I am, as it were, just lazy, and it does not matter who is gouging whom at the pump (though it does matter who is pumping whom). Gas could be $0.15 a gallon, and I’d still stay home. I am a lazy homebody these days.

vip harbor seafood, west los angeles, ca - spinach dumpling
steamed spinach dumpling
vip harbor seafood, west los angeles, ca - pork shiu mai
pork shiu mai

And that explains why an occasional craving for dim sum is very rarely satisifed with a long, gas-guzzling, unemployment-check-eradicating drive all the way out to the San Gabriel Valley for fabulous chow fun and har gow, or at worst, to Chinatown. I prefer to stay right here on the Westside, even if it means I must relegate my dim sum dining experience to the one, and only one, restaurant on the Westside that serves dim sum: VIP Harbor Seafood.

vip harbor seafood, west los angeles, ca - beef balls
who doesn’t love a good beef ball?
vip harbor seafood, west los angeles, ca - potstickers
you say “paht-sticker,” i say “poat-sticker”

VIP Harbor Seafood’s dim sum isn’t horrible. It’s just that there is limited variety and the quality would put it in the 50th percentile of all dim sum houses in LA. Of course, that sentence was blogged under the influence of decaf – I haven’t tried enough dim sum houses in LA to make such a broad, all-inclusive statement. Let’s just say that on my personal absolute-taste scale, VIP would be in the middle.

vip harbor seafood, west los angeles, ca - sesame balls
more balls!
vip harbor seafood, west los angeles, ca - sesame balls
$1.50/ball vs $3.39/gall

But one thing’s for sure – sesame balls taste good no matter where they’re from. And they sure are cheaper from VIP than the SGV.

** a year ago today: we ate at chosun galbee, captain’s orders and i wrapped salmon around asparagus from westchester**

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  • jackt

    I love those sesame ball things. But VIP not so much. if you’re gonna eat Chinese you may need to go east of the 405. like way, way east.

  • YouGuysKnow

    my fave. ate 3 in chinatown NYC dimsum this weekend. i could live on these. (don’t tell me how many calories per ball.)

  • Anonymous

    VIP? Surely this was some sort of last resort for you. There is dim sum that infinitely better, even downtown.

  • Anonymous

    I like VIP because it’s convenient when I don’t want to make the long trek downtown. Especially with gas prices nowadays…..

    mel_fox80

  • sarah

    jackt: i know. like sgv, right? but until my chaufeeur comes back from vacation, i thin i will have to stay on the westside ;)

    easily pleased: oh honey. three? that’s nothing, since each sesame ball has only 3 calories each! just like a tic tac!

    anonymous: yes, yes, all the alphabet dim sum houses in c-town. which is closer than the alphabet dim sum houses in the SGV, so perhaps i will make it to NBC. or ABC. or CBS. lol!

    mel fox: sometimes, i even walk to…ralphs.

  • MeowMix

    I usually resort to VIP for dim sum (and then some) when I’m staying on the westside. Luckily, I visit friends in Cerritos a lot on weekends, and there are a few decent dim sum places there. SGV it isn’t, but definitely better than VIP.

    I tried NBC for the first time last weekend. I wouldn’t say it’s spectacular (or maybe I’m just used to Cerritos-style dim sum now), but it’s just not worth the hour wait (not to mention the drive).

  • sarah

    meowmix: the one bad thing about the sgv dim sum (other than the fact that they are all about 500 miles away), is that yes, they are WAY too crowded, and though i am all for the “atmosphere” that is created by happily dining crowds, when it’s too long a wait, too loud you can’t hear yourself think, and too cramped that you can’t maneuver you chopsticks, it’s a little….well, sucky.

  • Anonymous

    Arrgh Sarah never ever pays any attention (hmm, one of Sarah’s ‘Reason’s Why Not’? ;) ). Forget all of the letters, especially NBC.

    I think I’ve already stated the obvious about VIP before on DL (order spring roll from Royal Star take-out, then get the same from VIP, compare…VIP’s suck, which is representative of all VIP’s food, sadly…just average).

    I guess I should just continually list the good (oh wait, why should I do that, reveal the better places for all?) Dim Sum service (new wave/trendy vs older high quality more traditional style of selections) restaurants until it gradually sinks into Sarah’s boneheaded stubborn brain (‘Reason’s Why Not #2? ;) ).

    No problem on the prices of fuel Sarah, you just get one of your friends to drive you there just like SF et al. Or better yet (repeat #?), get me to do the Sat or Sun ’rounds’ of SGV, or Rowland Heights; bring straight to your tiny appt.—deluxe in home service w/wines ;) (you do have a bamboo steamer? and toaster oven for the re-heating to perfection, deep fried items?)…

    carefully (or not so carefully, bring more than a few :) ) chosen yummy wines that go well with Dim Sum. Sheeesh, Sarah 1/2 way through the year, and you still don’t do the Delicious ‘walk on the wild side’ yet? Stuck on old familiar places/areas of the westside of town.

    Tea and Sunshine Bakery mooncake…yeah I know Sarah doesn’t like Christman/holiday fruit cakes, but this is a different animal, oh heck, just STFU and put it down your gullet and whine about it after you find out just how addictively rich it is (well if your going to eat those ‘new wave’ trendy, yucky sessame seed balls, might as well get fat on a decent ‘traditional’ Chinese dessert) to finish the meal. Trust me, I will “bring it”…if you ask nicely (aka yours truly, professional male escort ;) ), well now that I’ve gained a few like Sarah, maybe the speedo service outfit should be reserved for when I get into better shape for next season of skiing, lol.

    l.a.c.

    Ok, off to the rounds of Sun. farmers mkt’s this Memorial weekend. posting on that tomorrow morning.

    In the mean time articles from LA Times on farmer’s mkts appearing last Wed. Strawberries are late this year, and they all still pick them (except maybe Harry’s Berries which charge more than a gallon of gas for a friggin single basket of berries) under-ripe, flavor/sugar level deficient…wait for several more weeks on Chandlers or others…trust me.

    As usual, LA Times Food section (links to go dead within a week or so, I’m sure…it’s the LA Times after all) gets it wrong…more later ;)

    http://www.latimes.com/features/food/la-fo-produce24may24,1,3304563.story?

    http://www.latimes.com/features/food/la-fo-marketcook24may24,1,3454131.story?

  • Anonymous

    My beginning Chinese class and I ate there last week. I thought the dim sum was pretty good. Better than Ocean Star in Monterey Park, where they served us tea with tiny flies in it.

    Besides the dishes you ordered, we also ordered eggplant with shrimp, a green vegetable with garlic dish, & crispy noodles. Not sure what the green veggie was, but it wasn’t spinach, Chinese broccoli, or bok choy.

    Our chicken potstickers were cold and thus not very tasty, but the pork shu mai was very good.

    At the end of the meal, we enjoyed tiny egg custards, which were freshly made and delicious.

    ~mysuebaru @ xanga

  • Anonymous

    My beginning Chinese class and I ate there last week. I thought the dim sum was pretty good. Better than Ocean Star in Monterey Park, where they served us tea with tiny flies in it.

    Besides the dishes you ordered, we also ordered eggplant with shrimp, a green vegetable with garlic dish, & crispy noodles. Not sure what the green veggie was, but it wasn’t spinach, Chinese broccoli, or bok choy.

    Our chicken potstickers were cold and thus not very tasty, but the pork shu mai was very good.

    At the end of the meal, we enjoyed tiny egg custards, which were freshly made and delicious.

    ~mysuebaru @ xanga

  • sarah

    mysuebaru: i bet the green vegetable was pea shoots – did some of them have little tiny curly tendrils? i love it – i think it’s called something like “dau-miao,” or at least that’s what it sounds like when my brother-in-law orders it for us.

  • dougie

    VIP harbor is perfectly fine. you go there knowing what to expect and what they offer fits the billing. good, solid dim sum for westsiders. surely there are better places eastwards, but don’t forget that you also run the chance of finding bad dim sum out there. for suggestions, consider MISSION 261 next to the SG mission. heck, if you’re going to drive that far, just continue to baldwin exit and hit shanghai dumpling heaven: DIN TAI FUNG. chinatown suggestion is CBS. great for takeout and seemingly half the price of VIP harbor seafood.

    lastly, for blogger regarding the green veggies. yes, it’s called pea sprouts sauteed in garlic, losely pronouced as “doh meow”. VIP makes this very very well, fyi.

  • dougie

    VIP harbor is perfectly fine. you go there knowing what to expect and what they offer fits the billing. good, solid dim sum for westsiders. surely there are better places eastwards, but don’t forget that you also run the chance of finding bad dim sum out there. for suggestions, consider MISSION 261 next to the SG mission. heck, if you’re going to drive that far, just continue to baldwin exit and hit shanghai dumpling heaven: DIN TAI FUNG. chinatown suggestion is CBS. great for takeout and seemingly half the price of VIP harbor seafood.

    lastly, for blogger regarding the green veggies. yes, it’s called pea sprouts sauteed in garlic, losely pronouced as “doh meow”. VIP makes this very very well, fyi.

  • sarah

    dougie: i hear you on din tai fung. i do love that place, though, like the other places, it’s a little far away :)

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