I’ve been to quite a few dim sum joints in the past couple of weeks and I’ve inevitably arrived at certain comparisons. The women of Wing Lee have stripped their operation down to its essentials: “Want food? Have money? Ka-ching! Move along.” Swift and brutal, they handle customers like workers tightening screws on a fast-moving factory assembly line in a silent movie. Happy Garden is comparatively solicitous, being as you sit down and are served by a waiter, albeit one with enough aloof indifference to wound the self-esteem of a siamese cat.
Rounding out the spectrum is Good Luck Dim Sum, located on Clement somewhere between the two establishments previously mentioned. On a meter measuring brusque and ruthless efficiency, it lies somewhere between Wing Lee and Happy Garden, but much closer to Wing Lee. Customers are swept along and herded vis a vis sharp words and abrupt gestures that would make the Soup Nazi blush. The signature tarnished formica tables round out the aesthetic (a generous term) of Good Luck’s interior, whose utilitarian aspect suggests that the bulk of their business is To-Go. If you’re looking for brave innovation, search elsewhere because that is the farthest thing from a Dim Sum restaurant’s humid brain; steamed or BBQ’d pork buns, Siu Mai, Har Gow, pot stickers: the comfortable staples of any self-respecting counter Dim Sum spot are all found here, as they are at Wing Lee and Happy Garden (greater variety, however, can be found at the latter restaurant, being a sit-down establishment with a more capacious kitchen). The prices are of the requisite spareness; I ordered more than enough little treasures for this little piggy and was only about five dollars the poorer. Quoth Ira Gershwin: “Who could ask for anything more?”
Good Luck Dim Sum
736 Clement Street (@ 8th Avenue)