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First look: Empress Pavilion reopens in Chinatown

First look: Empress Pavilion reopens in Chinatown
Warm coconut-custard-filled buns with pork sung. (Jenn Harris)

Fans of the Empress Pavilion restaurant in Chinatown will once again be able to ascend the escalator to the popular Bamboo Plaza dim sum spot. The Hong Kong-style restaurant, which was open for almost 25 years before closing last summer, is reopening today.

Andy Lau, who owns Ocean Seafood, another dim sum restaurant in Chinatown, took over the space. On the menu, you'll find the classics, including chow mein with plenty of green onion, fried pork chops with sweet fried garlic and blistered green beans.

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And of course, dim sum carts will once again fill the dining room, every day until 3 p.m. Expect warm coconut-custard-filled buns dotted with salty pork sung, fish cakes with diced lotus, har gow dumplings and more.

The 600-seat restaurant underwent some renovations, including new chandelier lighting fixtures and furniture. And the fading burgundy carpet was replaced with plush panels of red and gold.

The food runners are required to wear clear masks over their mouths while serving food and pouring tea.

The previous Empress Pavilion owners, including chefs Ricky Chan and Joe Lee, closed the restaurant last July, citing increasing financial problems and declining business. Former owners also tied the lack of business to the dilapidation of Bamboo Plaza, where many retail spaces were empty and the escalator leading to the restaurant was out of service for a year. 

Empress Pavilion will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. with dim sum service until 3 p.m. 

988 N. Hill St., Suite 201, Los Angeles.

 Always down for shumai. Follow me on Twitter @Jenn_Harris_ 

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