Eating dim sum takes a bit of mental preparedness. It’s loud, it’s chaotic, it’s overwhelming and it probes an urge to eat in excess. Golden Dragon is one of Downtown’s most authentic dim sum parlors that take curious eaters on a gastronomical ride.
Dim sum is served everyday between 8am-3pm, it is between those hours that an unorchestrated parade of metal carts are pushed around tables to serve small plates of steamed baos, shu mai, bbq pork and any other bite sized Cantonese dishes. The small plates encourage sampling and sharing – and at $1.99 a plate, the price encourages eaters to max out their daily caloric intake. Dim sum makes brunch time adventurous.
Eye contact and assertiveness is necessary in order to call over the sought after shu mai cart, but don’t let that intimidate you because just a simple look of perplexed curiosity will signal multiple waitresses to push their ‘Zamboni of Tapas’ towards your table and display an array of dishes that start new cravings. Rice noodle rolls, braised chicken feet and deep fried taro balls are revealed within the cart - just point with your chopsticks and declare quantity with your fingers. A receipt is stamped with every order; it is that receipt that symbolizes appetite because within minutes, markings are accumulated and the white linen tablecloth is covered with plates and splattered with chili oil– it’s like a Jackson Pollock of Eastern flavors. Dipping sauce is a personal choice; many opt for soy sauce but the daring take a spoonful of Sriracha, chili oil and hot mustard for a sweat inducing concoction. With dim sum there are no rules, it’s a free for all for indigestion’s worst nightmare. Enjoy it while you can.
Chinese New Year is celebrated throughout the month of February and there’s no better time to check out Downtown’s most recent hub for revitalization. Get a taste of LA culture.
Janica de Guzman
Michael de la Madrid & Eslee