It's nothing new. I've been to VIP Harbor Seafood at least 20 times in the several years I've been in LA. However, I never gave it much attention because, well, it has always been there. The food is mediocre, and the ambience is an odd mix. Servers who barely speak english, dressed in the typical cheesy red-lantern-golden-dragon-chinatown-restaurant type uniform, are set againt a seafoam green and flamingo pink decor, glossy white formica furnishings, leftover from the '80s miami vice era. but for being the only easy asian sit-down within a half mile of home, it works. and the fact that they serve dim sum dishes at dinner time (which we didn't order last night) is a plus.
The menu is not quite authentic, not quite panda-express (translation: "americanized"). we ordered:
- szechuan string beans - made with what looked like green giant frozen green beans, but with all that garlic, ginger, and spice, i didn't notice it that much
- yang chow fried rice - i, of course, plucked out all the pieces of chia siu, which ended up being either just fat, or just pork jerky. i always have to wonder how much of the ingredients in the fried rice at dinner are leftover from lunch!
- hot braised rock cod - a little chewy, but edible
- mongolian beef - served on a sizzling plate, "where are the tortillas to make fajitas?"
rating out of 5: it just wouldn't be fair to rate VIP, as the rating wouldn't jive with whether i'd go back!
will i go back? well, i always do.