The 25-year young Empress Pavilion opened in Chinatown when Bamboo Plaza was first constructed, seating nearly 600 heads during peak dim sum hours. It was Chinatown's last grand Cantonese restaurant as inspired by Hong Kong's upper echelon of seafood houses.
By the late 20th century, due to the Chinese diaspora moving to the suburbs and lack of growth in Chinatown, the stalwart of carting dim sum China was stricken with an irreversible downward spiral. In summer of 2013, after months of failing to pay rent, Empress Pavilion shuttered. A few bemoaned the loss, but most people who loved dim sum had already moved onwards to the San Gabriel Valley.
Now, after half a year of being touted by an "opening soon" banner, Empress Pavilion is reopening under management that is eager to attract a new generation of Chinatown dwellers. Much like the circled rumors, Andy Lau, the owner of Ocean Seafood, another beloved dim sum house in Chinatown, is indeed the backer of the revamped Empress Pavilion. Armed with a renegotiated lease, an interior re-do, and some of the old waitstaff, Lau and manager Linda Chao will bring out the steamy dim sum carts again in Chinatown starting today.
Operating hours will be 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily with dim sum served until 3 p.m. The take-out store adjacent to the grand dining hall will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting later this week.
Bamboo Plaza's ownership is also in the midst of refurnishing the plaza, and aims to anchor the plaza with the reopening of Empress Pavilion.
988 N Hill #201, 213-617-9898
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