First up, Hong Kong Lounge (a Ping pick). HK Lounge has an intense wait so I would highly recommend arriving right when it opens (or maybe a little before). It's not a typical push-cart dim sum place - highly suppressing my "impulse buys"- but this also means your food is freshly prepared instead of possibly languishing on a cart.
Stuffed Crab Claws
A personal favorite of mine. I love the combination of shrimp paste and crab meat flash fried into crunchy goodness. Gotta say that HKL does a great job with this dish!
Char Siu Bao - Roasted Pork Bun
BUT HKL truly shines in their Char Siu Bao. My husband, the expert, proclaimed that this was one of the best he's ever had in the US and even rivals many in Hong Kong. That's high praise coming from him. Though I'm no expert, I do have to say that the filling was delicious with a perfect proportion of tender meat and flavorful sauce.
Lai Wong Bao - Egg Custard Bun
My son's favorite dim sum dish is the Lai Wong Bao. Filled with sweet custard and steamed to perfection - this was a fantastic rendition with a more lava-y filling than the one at Koi Palace.
A dim sum staple, this pork and shrimp dumpling is often mixed with Chinese black mushrooms and topped with roe. Nice savory flavor and a gigantic shrimp at the center.
Based off of a coworker's reco, we also checked out Tomi Sushi and Seafood Buffet for their dim sum and Chinese BBQ. I will say that I tend to be a little biased against buffet food (except Indian buffets because I love nonstop Chai and Chicken Tikka Masala), especially given the plethora of choices out here, but my coworker had piqued my interest with their Chinese dishes.
Char Siu and Grilled Salmon Collar
Ignoring the meh sushi in the background, the char siu (tender, juicy, well-flavored) and grilled salmon collar (loved the bold flame-grilled flavor) were quite good. I went back for seconds, thirds, and fourths on the salmon.
Dim Sum Sampling
I was quite impressed with the array of dim sum and sampled a little bit of everything. The fried calamari and mini pineapple buns were very good. Everything else was decent, but nothing to write home about.
Um, sushi was not their strong suit. Most had a very fishy taste aside from "safe" bets like salmon and tuna. Looked nice though.
Overall, for a traditional and delicious dim sum experience, I would highly recommend Hong Kong Lounge in SF and Koi Palace in Daly City / Dublin. Tomi was a good value and had some surprising hits with the salmon collar & Chinese BBQ, but definitely not the best for dim sum / sushi.
Have a great week!