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Luscious Dumpling or Golden Deli for comfort lunch.

I need a comfort food lunch fix and embarassingly live 2 miles (if that) from both Luscious Dumpling and Golden Deli. I have never been to either one (sorry!)

I have a huge big dinner do that evening (the kind where I won't get to eat much) so decided to take myself to lunch at one of these places at around 11:30 tomorrow morning.

I love dumplings, noodle soups, and spring rolls. I've read all the threads on these two on Chowhound. So here's my question: which one would you go to and what would you order in the dumpling, noodle soup, spring roll category at that restaurant?

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  1. Luscious Dumpling is my fave. My latest review with pix:

    http://myculinaryadventures.blogspot....

    If you get there by 11:30 there might already be a wait and they do run out of items. If you can get there around 11 you can get right in.

    8 Replies
      1. re: Bon Vivant

        A question then - if by 11:30AM they are out of items does it mean I shouldn't bother going there for dinner?

        1. re: notmartha

          They are busy making more dumplings for dinner right after they run out and close at lunch.

          1. re: zack

            So is 6PM for dinner early enough? The demand's pretty high if they run out at 11:30! Most people don't even do lunch until well after noon.

            1. re: notmartha

              It's a small operation and making dumplings from scratch (when ordered) is a labor and time intensive process.

              This is why places like Dumpling Master in Monterey Park are really not up to snuff -- made in advance, frozen, cooked when ordered ... ick.

          2. re: notmartha

            They close at 2:30 for lunch or earlier whenever they run out of stuff. If you go for dinner arrive early because their official close time is about 8:30 but I would assume the same rule applies if they run out of food.

            At least you know that your food is really prepared fresh every day!

          3. re: Bon Vivant

            everytime i try to eat here.... i'm confronted by a waiter that waves his hands - meaning "Sold out". bleh.

            1. re: eatdrinknbmerry

              Early bird gets the dumplings!

              Seriously when we left there Friday night at 6PM only half the place is full, and this restaurant is pretty small. None of the tables sits more than 4 by default.

          4. yes, food porn.

            does luscious have just pure fish dumplings or just veggie dumplings (without any pork) Thanks. and also is it easy to communicate if you don't speak Cantonese, Mandarin, or some other dialect.

            2 Replies
            1. re: kevin

              They change their dumplings some times so you never know what's going to be on the menu. I believe that they have a straight veggie dumpling and fried veggie pancake. I don't remember if they have pure fish though.

              The guys that work the room speak perfect English.

              1. re: Bon Vivant

                I don't believe I have ever seen just pure fish dumplings at Luscious Dumplings ...

            2. OK, just got back from Luscious Dumpling, Bon Vivant. Thanks for the tip and the link to your web site. I had the steamed pork and shrimp dumplings (10 for $6.00--a complete steal), the pork and szechuan pickle noodle soup you recommended on your site ($4.50) and a coke. The dumplings were fantastic--pillowy and light and yet substantial at the same time with just the right dough-to-filling ratio. Next time I will try some of the fried dumplings because they looked amazing as they went by. The szechuan pickle and pork was out of sight, too, with silky noodles, lots of lean pork, and the little sweet and sour kick fo the shredded pickles. It is 4 minutes from my house, and I got there late (12) and was seated right away. There was at least 1 empty table until I left at 12:50, and then there was a wait for a big table. I went by myself so that probably made a difference.

              1. OK - now you've been to LUscious d, give 101 noodle express a go.
                valley, southside just west of new.

                The secret trick for variety is to order a combo. You get 10 dumplings per order, but witha combo plate, you get 5 of two varieties. Shrimp and pumpkin, wild vegetable and pork, some fish ones, chives and lamb, etc. Huge variety, mostly shandong style boiled.

                Soups are fine, beef roll with jianbing (chinese crepe) wrapping and homemade tianmianjiang-like sauce is pretty awesome as well.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Jerome

                  I'll second the rec for 101 Noodle Express but only for the beef roll.

                  And you got to eat the beef roll AT THE RESTAURANT WHILE HOT AND WARM. Not something to doggy-bag and take home to reheat. Not like pizza.

                  Order. Eat. Enjoy. Go home happy.

                  Bowl of hot-and-sour soup would be the perfect complement as well, esp. in this weather. Brrr.

                2. Looks like I have to make a pilgrimage to Luscious Dumplings. The beef tendon and the pork belly noodle soup looked seriously good.

                  On 101 Noodle Express - second the dumplings. They have 2 kinds of all fish dumplings, plus a 3 combo one that is primarily fish. The beef roll is solid but not spectacular. This dish is getting so common that even the deli at 99 Ranch at Rowland Heights now sells them. Plus if you don't like cilantro you have to ask them to omit them. They do have one of the better versions of Hot & Soup soup (if you like H&S).

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: notmartha

                    Beef roll is not exclusive to 101 Noodle Express, nor was it invented by them.

                    Many years ago, Ding's in Monterey Park offered beef rolls, as did one place in the old DiHo Market plaza on Atlantic Blvd, whose name escapes me right now.

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      that's true. However, the jianbing crepe is common in shandong, and the use of the tianmianjiang type sauce rather than hoisin sauce is a nice variation. And they do a good job with it.
                      just like meilong didn't invent xlb - but i don't think it really matters to you or me. I wish more places had jianbing and the crepe dishes here. Heck - I wish I could find a market selling the hebei style sugared preserved apples and pears (pingguofu, lifu) that were ubiquitous in the late '80s when every ginseng and deerantler shop stocked them.

                      1. re: Jerome

                        "pingguofu ...

                        I believe I've seen pingguofu (or some variation of it) at that preserved fruit/jerky stand in the San Gabriel Superstore?? Maybe I was mistaken ...

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          really - not the southern salty plum and olive stuff? I'll check it out. Thanks.

                        2. re: Jerome

                          My recent beef roll at the 101 Noodle Express was so stuffed with scallions that I wouldn't be able to tell if it's the tianmianjiang or hoisin sauce. Actually I would rather have the plain pancake with the scallions and no beef (but then it will just be a variation on scallion pancakes).

                    2. OK, I went to Golden Deli Monday 'cause Luscious D was closed and it was good but not the transcendent experience others speak of. Did I order wrong? I got bun with charbroiled pork (the rice vermicelli with the sauce you put over) and a rice paper roll with pork, shrimp, and vermicelli. Any suggestions on what I should have instead. I mean, it was good but with Luscious Dumpling I am dying to go back.

                      1. Finally made it to Luscious Dumplings and the dumplings are worthy of the title "luscious".

                        We got the boiled cabbage & pork, the pan fried pork, the pan fried pork & fish, and the tendon noodles.

                        Noodles are the usual standard - just OK. The tendons were done to my liking, but I just don't find the hot & sour flavor to be that inspired.

                        The dumplings were clearly the star of the show. Our favorite was the pan fried pork (it's really similar to potsticker, just different shape and maybe a bit more doughy), followed by the boiled cabbage & pork. The pork & fish one was too delicate and the flavor was completely overwhelmed by the frying. They should have steamed that one.

                        The menu was printed so I don't know how that could vary; didn't see any specials posted anywhere. One interesting thing of note though is that I heard cantonese spoken a lot while dining there. Most dumpling/noodle places I went to seems to be owned by mandarin speaking people. Just kind of different.

                        So comparing those dumplings with 101 Noodle Express, we still overall prefer the boiled 3 ingredient one from 101, followed by the pan fried pork at Luscious then the pan fried pumpkin/pork/shrimp at 101. Overall too close to call.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: notmartha

                          any reason why you didn't try the boiled leek dumpings and pan-fried leek "box"? i prefer those to the cabbage version. the steamed pork is also quite good. i would skip the noodles altogether next time.

                          1. re: zack

                            I don't care for chinese leeks. Anything with leeks or cilantro I avoid like the plague.

                            I would get the steamed pork next time but we already have to take 1/2 the food home.

                        2. Dr. Debs, you've picked a good place for Pho. it's my favorite. Also note that Golden Deli has two sister restaurants... one across the street in the Luscious Dumpling strip mall - called Vietnam House. Their other location is Saigon Flavor on Valley/Del Mar. Make sure you try their cha gio (spring rolls). http://noodlewhore.blogspot.com/2006/...

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: eatdrinknbmerry

                            I had the cha gio on your recommendation! YUMMMMMMM. But I'm still not finding a Pho I like. I think I'm doing something wrong. Any specific recs for the Pho? I don't like tripe.

                            1. re: Dr. Debs

                              What exactly are you looking for in terms of Pho? Pho tai is your basic pho--lean meat with broth, noodles, bean sprouts, lime, and herbs. You might also want to try the Bahn Tam (according to my menu, they are items 63-63C). They are basically shredded pork & coconut milk with large rice noodles (and some veggies). These dishes are generally lighter and very tasty, although you need to mix the items thoroughly because the coconut milk is at the bottom. Bahn Xeo is also good (menu item #59). It's sort of like a calzone but with a thin crepe and filled with pork and veggies.

                          2. Vietnam House is not as good as Golden Deli. It's own by a sibling (brother, I think) of the owner of Golden Deli. I have been there and was disappointed. Not to mention, I found them to be a bit dirty. Dr. Debs, thank you for mentioning Luscious Dumpling. I have often thought about trying it out. Now, with all the positive notes on it, I will definitely check it out next time I'm back in the area.