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Oct 7, 2006 09:23 PM

Best bao in LA

fresh bao, not from yesterday
or maybe another version if you know of(korean etc)

(downtown / chinatown/ hollywood) no monterey parks...


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  1. Family Pastry in Chinatown. Steamed or baked and made there on the premises. Not really a dine in place but a coffee shop with take out dim sum and moon cakes.

    Family Pastry
    715 N Spring St
    Los Angeles, CA 90012
    (213) 622-5255

    Open 7am-5:30pm 7 days

    1. Here are a couple of threads you might find useful. Getting the bao fresh is tricky, even in Monterey Park. Family Pastry and Won Kok are possibilities, as are the dim sum houses with takeout counters. Hong Kong Low Deli has fresh steamed bao on weekends, other days...caveat emptor. See threads for locations.

      Good luck!

      1 Reply
      1. re: yclops

        This thread made me take a drive from the Sherman Oaks to Chinatown on Saturday morning. I went to Family Pastry. I was very impressed with the cost. I completely overordered for two people, but it only came to $15 -- for about 25 different pieces of dim sum, including both baked and steamed pork bao (as well as curry pork, black bean bun, har gow, shui mai, chicken bun, egg custart tart, egg custard bun, taro cake, turnip cake, and a winter melon bun). We tried everything, but I'll focus on the bao. We agreed that the baked pork bao was far superior to the steamed pork bao. The baked bao was light and sweet, and the pork was not too dry. The steamed bao had heavy dough that was dry, and the pork also seemed dried out. I was surprised, because the steamed pork bao were wheeled out of the kitchen just as I ordered, so they were quite fresh. The baked bao also had a better ratio of dough to meat. Both bao were very large, but I swear that the steamed pork bao at A&W Seafood in Northridge tastes just as good. The baked bao, however, was worth the drive, as was the curry pork and the filling in the egg tart. On the crust of the egg tart, as with a lot of the flaky pastry items, I thought the shortening was a bit too noticeable. That's probably more of a personal distaste, though.

      2. You can get also get fresh bao in Chinatown at:

        Won Kok Restaurant
        210 Alpine St
        Los Angeles, CA 90012
        (213) 613-0700

        CBS Seafood Restaurant
        700 N Spring St
        Los Angeles, CA 90012
        (213) 617-2323

        Sorry monku, I can't bring myself to go to Family Pastry. I went a few weeks ago to pick up a large order of stuff for a friend's wedding, and bought one of those lotus-wrapped chicken/rice thingies, and it was sour. It had gone bad. In our family, they're known for their cheap and large items.

        Won Kok is more expensive, but food is tastier there.

        4 Replies
        1. re: silleehillee

          Sorry to hear of your bad experience.

          I know lots of people buy the baked char su bao at Family Pastry because there's always a lot of meat in them. Even groups that want to resell them at different events.
          With the turnover on that item I'd be surprised if you got a bad one of those there.

          If I go out to dim sum in Chinatown its either Empress or CBS. I never thought the dim sum at Won Kok was anything memorable, but I do have noodles and soup there.

          1. re: silleehillee

            went to Won Kok, had the steamed pork bao - it had a very fluffy breading. the filling while nice in texture, tasted like some sort of mexican sauce chinese meat. :P

            1. re: S N

              At least it didn't give you food poisoning!

              monku, I guess we all have different tastes....but I do agree that the baked char su bao at Family Pastry has a lot of meat in it.

              1. re: silleehillee

                Funny, I bought one baked char siu bao at Family Pastry and scarfed it as I walked down to Hong Kong Low where I got another that was devoured on the way back to the ChowMobile. While both were tasty, and I admit my sample size was small, Family Pastry's had much LESS meat/more sauce! Got a Dan Tat (custard tart) at both but they are still in the bag.

          2. COuld you define what you mean by bao - are you looking for the steamed fluffy cantonese bao, for the shanghai style bao (xlb etc), or any kind of steamed boiled or fried chinese (or apparently korean) filled dumplings?

            1. hmmm, i thought all 'bao' is the same... :P

              i only had the steamed/baked? 'fluffy' with the sweet pork inside. (went to restaurant , said: i want the bao, they brought out these)

              1 Reply
              1. re: S N

                No, "bao" can mean anything from the regular white fluffy thing with BBQ pork (or ginger chicken, or hong xiao dou, mmmm) inside, to the baked and glazed equivalents, to xiao long bao which are more like beggar's purses and have soup and pork or crab inside, to ppang (Korean) or pan (Japanese), which are almost always sweet.