Dim sum is among my favorite meals; I took a particularly obsessive deep dive through the Bay Area and greater Los Angeles this past year while researching the Eater Guide to California. A Sunday jaunt to the original Koi Palace (the flagship of its three locations) reminded me why it’s the indispensable cornerstone among the region’s many stellar dim sum options. Once you wade through the chaotic crowds, a euphoric whirlwind of food and service awaits. In a blur of dumplings, noodles, congees, sweet and savory cakes, piled greens, and crisp-skinned meats, a through-line of freshness and craftsmanship gives the feast cohesion. Finish with the last dregs of tea and the custardy fritters called “Sugar Egg Puffs.
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