Pearl Restaurant

FH and I have been going to Pearl recently for dim sum. It’s a little farther drive for us, but it’s not nearly as crowded and service is pretty good.

There’s almost always a wait at Jasmine or Emerald on weekends, but Pearl tends to have a lot of open seating still, probably because it’s located in Rancho Bernardo.

Here’s some pictures I took from a recent dim sum lunch:

Shrimp Shu Mai

Shrimp Har Gow:

This is probably our favorite item to get at dim sum. The wrappers were a little too sticky and gummy on this visit, but still decent.

Scallop dumplings

White sugar cake

I haven’t found many people who like this cake. It’s an acquired taste I guess. For me, it’s nostalgic. I’ve eaten it since I was a little kid, so eating it always brings back memories. I’ve looked up trying to make it before and it’s pretty complicated. Much cheaper to get it at dim sum.

Beancurd skin wrapped rolls

Mango pudding

Beef tripe stew

Porridge with thousand year egg

The porridge was a little bland. Perhaps we’ve been spoiled by the more gourmet versions we’ve had at the dim sum places in LA.

Overall, we had a pleasant experience. The item selection is a limited compared to the menu which shows a lot more, but we were able to get our usuals. The service was pretty good and the place was not nearly as busy or hectic as other places in San Diego for dim sum on a weekend. And of course there’s always the beautiful view of the gardens next door.

Pearl Chinese Cuisine
11666 Avena Pl
San Diego, CA 92128
(858) 487-3388

18 comments on “Pearl Restaurant”

  1. I think I prefer the dim sum at Emerald, but we always go to Jasmine because it’s closer and less crowded. And it’s really not that bad. Plus, they have decent Peking duck and a decent price. It’s a little odd to watch the ducks at the pond while eating it, but such is life.

    My dad always gets that rice cake when we go to dim sum, so whenever I see it, I think of him. No one else in my family really eats it.

    • Usually between Jasmine and Emerald I prefer Jasmine. I think they just have more items I like. Yeah I’m the only one who eats the rice cakes in my family. Which always means I have to finish the whole thing, but i can’t resist getting them!

  2. I love those white rice cakes too. I ate them all the time when I was younger. There used to be a similar round, smooth version that was available in San Francisco Chinatown. I liked those ones better than the triangular version filled with holes, but sadly, the smooth ones are no longer available. I still always get the triangular ones when I can because it’s better than nothing!

    • I don’t think I’ve ever had the smooth round version. I’m intrigued. I wish they were still available so I could try them!

  3. I love shrimp har gow also, yum!

  4. I think I know what Kelly is referring to. Some dimsum places in the Bay do serve the small round ones in these small clay coasters. I don’t really like those, and prefer the triangle cakes.. Those coasters are a nightmare to clean!

    My mom used to make the round ones at home, so actually that’s nostalgic for me.

    I went to Jasmine while my parents were in town for graduation. They’re alright, but I miss SF Chinatown’s dimsum!

    • Hm I can’t believe I haven’t spotted these before in all the times I’ve had dim sum up in the Bay. I agree, Jasmine is okay along with the others in SD, but they don’t beat the ones in the Bay Area, or the ones in LA.

  5. How are the white rice cakes? I usually get mine at Jasmine Express.

    • I thought they were about the same quality as Jasmine Express. Sometimes I get them there too when I have a craving. Also Yum Cha has a nice selection of white rice cakes. They even have ones made with brown sugar too!

  6. Actually the round smooth ones are different from the triangle one. The triangle ones are very difficult to make, and they taste diffently. They are two different product, but somehow they
    become one product in the USA.

  7. We’ve always called the white rice cakes white sugar cakes (literal Cantonese translation). Those are my dad’s favorite, too.

    If the round, smooth ones are the same ones that I remember, my mom used to make those too. I don’t ever remember seeing them at Bay Area dim sum places, but I’m sure I’ve seen them at some Chinatown bakeries. We always bought the triangular ones; I don’t know of anyone who ever made them at home.

    Personally, I like Jasmine and China Max for dim sum.

    • Oops, I actually meant to write white sugar cake, the literal translation. Just changed it. Didn’t mean to say white rice cake though I guess it can be called that since it’s made out of fermented rice. This round smooth one is really bugging me now. Lol. I think Jasmine is my fav of all the ones in SD.

  8. Any tips on white rice cakes in Chinatown San Francisco? I’m going tomorrow.

    • Unfortunately I haven’t been to SF Chinatown in ages. I think though that most places that serve dim sum should have it!

  9. I think I’m the only one in the family that doesn’t like those rice cakes. I have yet to eat at Pearl, can you believe that??

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