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Food

Dim Sum and Then Some: Dim Sum Brunch at Equator

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When you think weekend brunch you probably imagine vanilla French toast, cheddar cheese and bacon scramble and a stack of blueberry pancakes. We do, too, so we were intrigued when we heard about the "Dim Sum and Then Some" Brunch at Equator in Pasadena. You get to choose from a menu of dim sum created by Chef Zhang, who learned a thing or two about the cuisine from his mother. She has worked at acclaimed Monterey Park and Chinatown restaurants for years.

On Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 3pm, the Pasadena restaurant/lounge, presents this unusual brunch menu (each order is $3) of pan-fried pork dumplings (three pieces), shrimp siu mai (four pieces), char siu bao (two pieces) and sticky rice wrapped in a bamboo leaf, to name but a few.

We went here last Saturday to meet up with a friend and it was a fun thing to do, sharing dim sum with a gal pal on a lazy late morning. Definitely a lot lighter than a traditional brunch. But we still managed to get stuffed after splitting an appetizer and four dim sum plates. We're not dim sum experts so we couldn't tell you if it was better than Chinatown. However, we did enjoy the steamed BBQ pork buns. Wasn't all that crazy about the sticky rice, mainly because of the steamed peanuts in it. Not our thing. And this wasn't dim sum but we loved our app of spicy seared albacore topped with crispy onions ($8). That one, we didn't really want to share with our friend.

We also ordered some of their special tea and coffee drinks, on ice of course. She got the chai ($4) and we chose the Nutty Irish Woman ($4) which is espresso, hazelnut, Irish cream and steamed milk. At first we thought it would come out all saccharine and syrupy but instead it was subtly sweet. Loved it! BTW, on the server's suggestion we ordered it iced instead of blended since it retains its flavor better. It was dee-lish.

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However, if you require a bit of hair of the dog, the brunch also features bottomless champagne cocktails and mimosas for $10. There is also a full bar but the day we went the server/bartender said he wasn't familiar with cocktail making. Ah well. We were pleased with our coffee drink.

Equator
22 Mills Place in Pasadena
(626) 564-8656