Thursday, July 18, 2024

Cal Heights gem EA Seafood to bring Long Beach its first formal dim sum menu

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EA Seafood is the Cantonese gem of Cal Heights that opened in the beginning of this year. Since opening, they’ve garnered a loyal and steady patronage with their quality traditional takes on Chinese classics. Because of that, they’ve trusted owner and chef Jerry Wu and what he creates at the wok.

And with that trust, he will be offering his first taste of dim sum this Friday, June 28. Dim sum service will be offered daily from 10:30AM to 3PM, replacing their lunch specials menu.

Dim sum is finally coming to Long Beach in its full glory at EA Seafood

Chef Jerry’s selection of dim sum—much like his regular menu, which will still be offered—is no small feat. He has over 50 selections that span steamed plates, baked and fried offerings, congee, and special dishes. Yes, 50.

Steamed selections will include classics like har gou and siu mai, of course. But it will also dive into delicacies like chicken feet and beef tripe. There are egg yolks buns next to beef meatballs sit next to sausage cakes and tofu rolls. After offering their first pork dish weeks ago—salt’n’pepper fried chops—they’ll be expanding their pork options as well. BBQ pork buns, pork dumplings, pork ribs…

The congee menu will offer six varieties of porridge. Plain, fish, beef, shredded chicken, shredded duck, or preserved duck egg.

And those with the sweet tooth of the family will particularly love the fried and baked section of EA Seafood’s dim sum offerings. Surely, there are savory classics like egg rolls and pan-fried dumplings. But the Portuguese egg tart, coconut and pineapple sweet cream buns, coconut lava balls, and sesame balls happily dominate the section.

And all of the aforementioned dishes—steamed, congee, fried’n’baked—will run for $7.95.

The specialty dishes—which run from $8.95 to $16.95—feature larger offerings like stir-fried rice noodles with XO sauce, Singapore-style fried vermicelli, Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce, jelly fish, cucumber salad, and more.

So what is EA Seafood for those who haven’t yet been?

EA Seafood took over the former Kinokawa space after it permanently shuttered in July of 2023. Even more, for Chef Jerry and his Cantonese take on Chinese food, his restaurant was not just a warm welcome for the Cal Heights neighborhood (and all of the city), but a full realization of a dream he’s long wanted to achieve on his own. Working at Nomad Bistro over near 2nd Street and Pacific Coast Highway, Jerry saved penny by penny in order to eventually oversee his own kitchen.

“I saw this place and it was a perfect fit for us,” Jerry told me back in January. “We kept most of it the same—I know it’s Japanese in style but we want to make sure the community is comfortable. We know we are new but we are here to be a part of the neighborhood.”

Why is EA Seafood important to the Long Beach food scene?

EA Seafood’s quick rise to popularity comes out of not just the quality of food being churned out but the lack of representation that very type of food has within the city. Our neighbors to the north and south are chockfull of solid Asian grub, Long Beach lacks—particularly when it comes to old-school Chinese joints that harken to the the Peking, Cantonese, Szechuan, and other Chinese culinary styles. 

Think Chengdu Taste in Alhambra and Sichuan Impression in both O.C. and L.A. highlighting Szechuan. Southern Mini Town in San Gabriel and Red 99 in Temple City showcasing Shanghainese cuisine. Ji Rong for Peking in San Gabriel. And when it comes to Cantonese, a rich stretch of culinary love, from staples like NBC Seafood and Auntie Kitchen to high-end joints like Bistro 1968.

EA Seafood is linked to that chain of legends that have been filling stomachs and souls for decades. And it’s about damn time we have a chef who not only knows what he is doing around the wok but is passionate about doing it. EA Seafood’s menu is already massive. To take on dim sum is no small feat, let alone in a way that offers 50-plus items on top of said massive menu.

But we’ll happily take your steam trays on, Chef Jerry.

EA Seafood is located at 1611 E. Wardlow Rd.

Brian Addison
Brian Addison
Brian Addison has been a writer, editor, and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food and culture to transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 25 nominations and three additional wins. In 2019, he was awarded the Food/Culture Critic of the Year across any platform at the National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards.

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