Restaurant: Bao Dim Sum House
Location: 8256 Beverly Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90048. (323) 655-6556
Date: January 12, 2015
Cuisine: Cantonese Dimsum
Rating: Tolerable for not being in the SGV
Anyone who reads my blog knows I’m a dimsum fiend. I’ve been doing a pretty good job working through the top places in the San Gabriel Valley (although I have a few new ones to try) but I had an hour or so at lunch to kill in Beverly Hills and I figured I try out Bao.
Inside it actually has a decor from this century, which is more than can be of the likes of Elite (except Elite has much better dimsum!).
The menu, while lacking in any major surprises, has all the right classic dimsum fare. And pictures. Plus Bao is a “to order” place rather than cart style. I vastly prefer to order. Sure, 30+ years ago the whole cart thing was a novelty, but I much prefer the freshness of to order.
Bao is decent in the sauce department too, and far easier to actually get your sauces than an authentic place — as they actually bring them without asking 5 times. Same goes for water. Nor do they charge (here’s looking at you again Elite).
I must mention that they brought nearly by entire order simultaneously. I hate that, but I should have remembered to tell them to stage it. In the SGV it’s entirely random.
Overall, Bao was about as I expected, but not particularly good. It’s better than the new Empress Pavillon (which is wretched) but not even as good as the Santa Monica mainstay. Yeah, if you’re a non-Chinese who doesn’t know how dim sum should taste, Bao is fine. And it’s well located with good service and an attractive interior. But it just doesn’t hold a candle to even the second tier “made to order” places out in the San Gabriel Valley — and forget comparing it to Elite, King Hua and the like.