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Vancouver’s Most Respected Dim Sum Seems Destined to Expand to LA

Chef Tony seems well on its way to dominating Old Pasadena

Dim sum specialities at Chef Tony
Yelp/Felix L.
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Pasadena’s bygone 800 Degrees Pizza location seems to have a new tenant that goes by the name of Chef Tony. And while no one associated with the restaurant acquisition has so far been willing to confirm news to Eater, it seems pretty clear that this will be an American outpost of one of Vancouver’s most successful modern dim sum restaurants.

The Richmond community just outside of Vancouver, Canada is the hub of Chinese culinary life for the greater Pacific Northwest, and plays home to its own Sea Harbour restaurant — the Western original is still in Rosemead, California — as well as a restaurant called Chef Tony. Both are operated by Hui Dong “Tony” He, who used to cook down in Rosemead and also operates Cantonese restaurants in mainland China. It’s He’s name that is attached to a new ABC license listing for the stunning vintage 800 Degrees space in Old Pasadena, posted just a couple of weeks ago, and his company Oriental Garden F & B Management Limited seems to be involved as well.

What’s more, the “doing business as” designation for the city paperwork is, of course, Chef Tony, though calls and emails to the parent company operating out of Canada have so far not been returned. It’s worth noting that He also has a trademark out for a Chef Tony dim sum logo, both in Canada and domestically.

And so it seems that Old Pasadena is about to get a serious influx of top quality dim sum, with beer and wine available as well. There’s no timetable for when that might happen and signage has yet to go up, but the news still bodes well for fans of Chinese food in and around Pasadena proper. Plus it sure beats the drive down the Irvine for Tim Ho Wan, the Michelin-starred Hong Kong dim sum hero expanding to Orange County later this year.

Chef Tony. 2 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA.