Experienced dim sum eaters tend to value consistency and predictability: Above all else, they crave well-executed versions of familiar favorites. For this workmanlike approach, avoid the crowds in Oakland Chinatown and head up to El Cerrito’s L & L Chinese Seafood Restaurant, where you’ll find low prices, a low-key atmosphere, and a standard array of dim sum specialties. Ordering off L & L’s checklist menu is less fun than the cart service you’ll find at other dim sum houses, but the upside is that each item is cooked to order. Highlights include the impeccably fresh shrimp-rice noodle roll, the pan-fried turnip cakes, and the aptly named “deep fried savory triangles” (sticky sweet glutinous rice-cake ovals with a delicious ground-pork filling). You’ll never have to wait for a table — heck, there’s even a small parking lot.
Hours: Daily 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
Payment Type: Cash, Mastercard, VISA
Dim sum is served until 3 p.m.