"Dim sum" is a Cantonese phrase meaning "touch the heart," and this spot touches it like no other place in Chinatown. "Little" Three Happiness (so named because there's a huge
Three Happiness across Cermak) is so revered by local foodies, there's an internet food board
named after it.
Like Ed's you'll have to construct your own dim sum tasting from the menu, and though the restaurant is legendary, not everything on the menu is good: Stick to classics like salt and pepper shrimp lathered in scallions and jalapeno. If you're squeamish, you can order the shrimp with the peels and heads off, but the peels, which fuse with the meat during the wok sear, are entirely edible, and you'll be rewarded by a contrast of plump succulent briny meat and crispy crunch. The other classic dish is the crispy skin chicken, served with a side of lemon and a five spice salt mixture (cinnamon, peppercorns, cloves, star anise and fennel), which recalls crispy Peking duck and boasts a lustrous golden crust and juicy interior meat.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Michael Nagrant