This week, Jonathan Gold heads to Temple City to review Grand Harbor, a new Chinese restaurant that specializes in rather pricey seafood dishes. On the menu is a $9,388 tasting menu (at least it feeds 10), that exists as "a statement of purpose, an inference that a meal there might be worth that kind of money, as well as a hint that you may be out of your league."
Sadly, that tasting menu, along with quite a few other extravagant dishes such as sun-dried abalone and bird's nests, are out of the Times critic's budget, so the review hones in on the more approachable offerings:
Once I tried to order a bowl of geoduck, longnecked clam, cooked in congee, and the waiter was good enough to point out that the dish was made with a whole live animal, and that I was probably looking at a $150 bowl of porridge. Suddenly, the live lobster congee, on special at $10.50, started to look like a real bargain. It was delicious. And the steamed whole fish tends to be perfect, a just-gelled essence of itself, barely touched with soy and ginger. Even with a local thornyhead instead of the Australian beauty, you are living in a house of gold and silver. [LAT]
The Goldster also recommends the baked pork bao with abalone sauce and fried chicken knees with spicy salt.