Object of Desire: Crispy shrimp rice noodle
Elite, of course, is among the better Cantonese seafood restaurants in town, renowned equally for its stewed sea cucumber with abalone sauce at dinner and for its occasionally too-innovative dim sum at lunch. (It can be forgiven for its fried chicken wings in Coca-Cola sauce -- the baked barbecued pork bao, the congee with frog, and the crispy snow buns are pretty great.) If you prefer the relative serenity of dim sum ordered from a checklist instead of from passing carts, Elite may be the place to go.
So is it fair to identify a favorite from the dim sum menu, to recommend a single dish to go alongside the lush siu mai, the beyond-flaky Macanese egg tarts, and the Chinese sausage claypot rice? Perhaps: I'm going here with the crispy shrimp rice noodle, which is to say properly gooey steamed rice sheets wrapped around shrimp and freshly fried Chinese crullers, a shotgun blast of umami and pure crunch aimed straight at the pleasure center of your brain.
700 S. Atlantic Blvd., Monterey Park, (626) 282-9998.
Photo credit: Jonathan Gold/Los Angeles Times