I went to this highly praised dumpling place in El Monte, Dumpling 10053, this weekend and based on the Chowhound recs, I got shrimp, and pork/crab/sea cucumber dumplings (If I hadn't been by myself, I would've tried the fish ball soup as well). I thought they were pretty good, but nothing knocked me out. The shrimp ones had big pieces of fresh shrimp, but I was longing for some shredded ginger. There were strips of something yellow in the dumplings, but they had no flavor so I think they might have been bamboo shoot. The pork ones were pretty good -- I didn't notice the sea cucumber, which is good, or the crab, which might also be good considering the pork-crab dumplings I've had at Din Tai Fung, which are awfully fishy.
For all that I love dumplings -- and occasionally I think that I should just let myself go and have an all-dumpling month, or at least week - I now realize that I can't think of any place where I've really been transported by the dumplings. This seems sad. Oh wait, I do really like the boiled meat dumplings at Mandarin Deli in Chinatown. But there's got to be more.
Well, there WAS the lamb green onion dumplings at Homestyle on Valley but note the use of the word, "WAS." They also had very good pork with pickled veggies.
I have come to conclude that 1} I don't really go for frou-frou dumplings. This means all the places with thin dough do little for me; 2} my favorite dumpling place is in Beijing, and 3} since I can't go Beijing for take-out, I am left with making my own.
You don't like the juicy pork dumplings at Din Tai Fung? I think they're the bomb. I didn't care for any of the other flavors though.
Since we're on the topic of dumplings, I wanted to report briefly on Mei Long Village's crab + pork soup dumplings. My bf and I went there the past Friday night and it was the first time he had tasted soup dumplings, so of course he thought they were delish. I thought they didn't taste as good as I had remembered. They didn't seem to have much soup inside, and they were a little cold even when they first hit the table. Has Mei Long's quality gone downhill or am I just jaded?
What do you all think? Is J & J next door better?
I URGE anyone who likes non fussy, thick skinned dumplings to go to Luscious Dumplings for an order of the fried pork ones. I've now tried pretty much all the vaunted fried pork dumplings in the SGV and these are my favorites by a pretty big increment.