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Shanghainese in Orange County?

MJT Feb 21, 2007 09:33 AM

Any recommendations for authentic shanghainese food in Orange County, some out of town friends will be visiting Disneyland and Legoland and would like to have Shanghainese food, they grew up there and now live in the Bay Area where there aren't a ton of good Chinese food to be had. Thanks!

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  1. Chandavkl RE: MJT Feb 21, 2007 09:53 AM

    Don't think there's a lot of Shanghai food in Orange County--most of it's in the San Gabriel Valley. Mandarin in Fountain Valley is one place that has been mentioned on this board.


    3 Replies
    1. re: Chandavkl
      PeterL RE: Chandavkl Apr 5, 2007 08:06 AM

      Mandarin definitely. XLB comparable to Ding Tai Fung, I kid you not. The owners used to work at Kensington's (big electronic firm in OC). The CEO of Kensington's (Taiwanees) has a private dining room in this restaurant.

      1. re: PeterL
        Midlife RE: PeterL May 1, 2007 05:40 PM

        Second on the restaurant. Incredible food!!!! The electronics firm is Kingston Technology however, and I was told that one of the pricipals of the firm owns the restaurant.

        1. re: Midlife
          elmomonster RE: Midlife Dec 29, 2007 07:04 AM

          I tried Mandarin based on the recs I heard here. I was there for one purpose and one purpose only: to try the XLB. And, man, I've never been so disappointed.

          Too bad, because even though I was skeptical of the claims that it could be "comparable" to DTF, I was hopeful. Really, hopeful. Because it is not entirely impossible that a place could make them as good as DTF. There are plenty of restaurants in SGV that do.

          But my hopes were crushed as soon as I saw them brought to my table. The wrapper was already torn, and it had a doughy and sloppy texture.

          They tasted like they were steamed from frozen. And of course, there's no soup in there to speak of.

          To compare these xiao lung baos to Din Tai Fung's dumplings is to compare a toy fiddle to a Stradivarius.

          I have pictures of the sad things...but I doubt any one is interested in seeing them.

          To be fair. These dumplings were just as good as the ones I've had an A&J in Irvine.


    2. w
      WHills RE: MJT Feb 21, 2007 09:54 AM

      There is a Shanghai-Style Restaurant in Cerritos next to the Diho Supermarket. They have decent xiao long bao and good authentic dishes for a great price. There is no English name, and the sign says "Shanghai-Style Restaurant." It's next door to Kim Tar.

      4 Replies
      1. re: WHills
        Charmie RE: WHills Feb 21, 2007 12:48 PM

        I pass by here all the time--what dishes are good here besides xlb?

        1. re: Charmie
          WHills RE: Charmie Feb 21, 2007 02:22 PM

          Their braised beef noodle soup is pretty good. My only complaint is it's not handmade noodles, but the broth is excellent and the beef is very tender.

          The scallion pancakes are okay, not superb, but not bad either.

          A lot of people seem to order the pan-fried baos (sheng jian bao). I think they only have it on Friday-Sunday or something like that, and it is freshly made. I'm not a big fan of them.

          They also have their really cheap set dinners for under $30 for 4 with hot and soup soup, a few dishes and XLB.

          I've had their string beans and they were good. Overall, most of the dishes look really good. I think you will be pretty safe with the Northern Chinese dishes. I mostly go for lunch and go for my noodle fix in OC.

          1. re: WHills
            choctastic RE: WHills Feb 22, 2007 04:46 PM

            i had xlb here not too long ago and i recall they were better in the past. rubbery pork filling, not so great soup, too many leaking wrappers. i'm not going there for xlb there again, will make the drive to alhambra instead.

        2. re: WHills
          Chelmoon RE: WHills Feb 21, 2007 03:15 PM

          Since Cerritos isn't in Orange County, I thought I'd throw out another L.A. county possibility. Rowland Heights is just over the hill from north Orange County. A Shanghai style place there that I like is Queen Chinese Restaurant, 18406 Colima Road, in the Hong Kong Supermarket shopping center.

        3. Das Ubergeek RE: MJT Feb 21, 2007 03:17 PM

          There's a restaurant that advertises itself as Shanghainese at the corner of Euclid and Crescent (behind Chris 'N Pitt's BBQ, near Ten Ten Seafood and the 99 Ranch). It looks run down and I'm not 100% sure it's actually open -- but I intend to check it out as soon as I can.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Das Ubergeek
            elmomonster RE: Das Ubergeek Apr 4, 2007 08:14 AM

            Don't bother trying this place. It's called 3.6.9. and it's horrible. The food was subpar, greasy as heck. They were good a decade or so ago, but not anymore...Worse yet, the owners are really, really mean. The woman, who is apparently the owner, berated a customer next to me for asking if their lunch special was available during dinner. If I were him I would've left, but he stayed and undoubtedly sulked afterward. On another visit, that lady's husband came over and started yelling at my friend for leaving a 12% tip!


            1. re: elmomonster
              Das Ubergeek RE: elmomonster Apr 4, 2007 10:52 AM

              I've since been to that place and the XLB are passable, but there's a lot of brown glop on the menu.

              1. re: elmomonster
                emily RE: elmomonster Apr 4, 2007 12:20 PM

                Interesting... I used to love 369 in the '90s. In fact, it was my first introduction to non-Americanized Chinese food. We did go back a few years ago and found it lacking. I was actually thinking of trying it again, but perhaps I won't bother.

            2. z
              zruilong RE: MJT Feb 22, 2007 12:37 PM

              This was supposed to be a response to the WHills/Charmie thread above.

              I am not a huge fan of this place. They aren't too bad as long as you order the right dishes. Their tofu knots are good, (bai 2 ye4 jie3 shao1 rou4), but this place has hidden americanized dishes as well, and I have been there where they dumbed down a dishes for me thinking I wouldn't know the difference. I personally prefer the restaurant to the left of this place, Spicy Shabu Shabu, (Qiang Qiang Gun, i think). This is a taiwanese owned restaurant. I haven't had their XLB there, but they do offer cold appetizer dishes on display towards the front.

              2 Replies
              1. re: zruilong
                WHills RE: zruilong Feb 22, 2007 02:13 PM

                Is Spicy Shabu Shabu Shanghainese food, or is it more taiwanese food?

                1. re: WHills
                  zruilong RE: WHills May 1, 2007 04:24 PM

                  Taiwanese-ish, but with some of the Shanghai dishes mentioned above. If they did san huang ji, I would be a haaapy camper and more inclined to say Shanghainese, but they do not advertise themselves as such. BTW, they changed their name recently to the owners name (May? Can't remember) instead of the ambiguous "Spicy Shabu Shabu" moniker. Same owner, menu, decor, and chefs, just a name change.

              2. modernist RE: MJT Apr 5, 2007 01:31 AM

                im not exactly sure of the street names but there is a shangainese place in irvine in the strip mall with the ranch 99 on walnut its kind of near jeffrey nearer to the 5 than the 405. if youre facing ranch 99, its on the edge on your right. i forgot the name. its decent and pretty cheap (lots of 5.99 and 6.99 specials that are available all day). not much ambience. doesnt really compare to the shanghainese in the SGV but will do in a pinch...

                2 Replies
                1. re: modernist
                  elmomonster RE: modernist Apr 5, 2007 06:43 AM

                  That one is called Little Shanghai, but unfortunately it recently closed.



                  1. re: elmomonster
                    Chandavkl RE: elmomonster May 1, 2007 07:14 PM

                    But replaced by a similar restaurant called Chef Chen. They serve a mean whole fish in bean sauce on a bed of noodles.

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