Anyone who’s ever had brunch in this town knows one thing - you’re going to wait in line. It doesn’t matter where you are or how hard you whine to the hostess, sitting on the sidewalk for 45 minutes wondering if you should’ve just scrambled some eggs at home is simply the way it works. The most unfortunate part? It’s rarely ever worth the wait. Except of course, if we’re talking about dim sum brunch at Lunasia.
Located at the bottom of a big apartment complex in Alhambra, Lunasia’s space, setup, and menu aren’t much different than the other top dim sum places in the San Gabriel Valley. It’s essentially one giant dining hall filled with round tables, and ordering is done on menus you fill out at your table (no rolling food carts here). But the difference at Lunasia is that the food simply tastes better than the others.
While we’ve been impressed with almost everything we’ve tried at Lunasia, this is still a 100-item menu - so we suggest going in with at least a vague game plan. Our first order of business is always the pork siu-mai. These glorious softball-sized dumplings are the signature items at Lunasia, and we can’t think of a better single dumpling in Los Angeles. You’ll also want the spinach and shrimp dumplings, which are light and fresh, and the pan-fried string beans with minced pork. The crispy shrimp rolls come wrapped in a deep-fried shell, but are not nearly as heavy as that sounds. If you’re looking for something more substantial, add the macau pork belly. Or do what we do, and just book-end it all with another order of pork siu-mai.
If the idea of waiting an hour for anything hurts your insides, know that hacks do exist. If you have more than eight people, you can make a reservation. Also, dim sum goes all day at Lunasia, and if you come outside the brunch rush, you’ll usually be able to get in easily. That said, when the promise of the best dim sum in LA is on the other side of a 45 minute wait, it’s worth it. Your scrambled eggs aren’t that good anyways.
You can find a lot of incredible dumplings to eat in the San Gabriel Valley. But the jumbo pork siu-mai at Lunasia sit at the top of the heap. Hitting the table looking like four glistening softballs from god, these will certainly be among the biggest dumplings you’ll ever eat, but they’ll also be the most delicious too.
These are excellent, and a lighter complement to the undertaking that is the pork siu-mai.
Your vegetable requirement at Lunasia should be fulfilled with the string beans. Perfectly fried with minced pork, this isn’t exactly a light dish, but you’re not here to calorie crunch.
Arriving to the table wrapped in a spider web of crunch, these are savory and sweet and not nearly as heavy as they look. Another must-order.
Of all the dumplings at Lunasia, this is our least favorite. It’s a bit more basic and doesn’t pack the punch that the siu-mai and spinach dumplings do.
If you’re looking for something bigger to round out your meal, get this. It’s basically a plate of pork belly, and it’s everything you want after rounds of dumplings.