Ocean City: Restaurant Guide 2014

3016 SE 82nd Ave., 771-2299, oceancityportland.com

[SUM OF THIS, SUM OF THAT] To the uninitiated, the process of getting dim sum can seem like utter chaos. From the moment you're seated, servers are shoving carts to your table, shouting the names of dishes you've never heard of. The food looks as if it were farmed on Tatooine, and asking questions is frowned upon. It's like being airdropped into a foreign bazaar with a shopping list written in a language you don't understand. Ocean City, generally the least crowded of the two dim-sum options on Southeast 82nd Avenue, is no different. The tables aren't all comfortable, the room resembles a hotel dining hall, and trying to navigate the aisles at peak cart hours is like playing Frogger in traffic. Why go through this? Pop some shumai in your mouth—that's the stuff wrapped in ruffled dough, which looks a little like a meat cupcake—and answer that question yourself. The flavors are as unique as the experience, a mix of savory pork and seafood with often gelatinous textures. I'm partial to the shrimp dumplings, the sticky rice that comes packaged in lotus leaves and the gummy-sweet sesame balls. But really, when one of those carts rolls up beside you, no matter what's on it, the best advice is to just say yes. MATTHEW SINGER.

Pro tip:

If you want to learn, come with people who know what they're ordering. You don't ask servers what the food is, and you certainly don't ask how much each item costs. Rest assured, a group of three can get out for around $40.

9:30 am-11 pm daily. $$-$$$.