Good dumplings other than din tai fung?
i'm looking for some good non pan fried dumplings in the sgv area other than din tai fung. long waits even on weekdays has made it not even worth the effort.
Just to be clear.
Din Tai Fung technically does not have really have "dumplings" per se -- it serves xiao long bao (or what is often colloquially referred to as "soup dumplings").
Other places for xiao long bao would be Mei Long Village, J&J, Dragon Mark, Ho Ho Kitchen. See my thread here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/359048
If you want dumplings, then go to Dumplng 10053 in El Monte at 10053 Valley Blvd. or Luscious Dumplings on Las Tunas in San Gabriel.
I was at J&J yesterday and saw a delivery dude carrying many, many boxes of commercially made shu mai wrappers, wonton wrappers and noodles back into the kitchen. The XLB are pretty good here, but that was a little freaky, enough to offset the good vibes engendered by the sight of the staff picking meat from fresh crabs during the lunch hour. They may well make the XLB from scratch, but I suddenly have my suspicions...
That shouldn't be a surprise. Very few, if any, places make their own shu mai or wonton wrappers. Even the large banquet style dim sum places in SGV (e.g. 888, Ocean Star, etc.) do not make their own shu mai wrappers. These are machine made; to do them by hand would be too labor instensive and slow and cost-prohibitive. $20 shu mais, anyone?
And, with wontons, there really is very little need to knead your own dough and wrapper -- the difference is just not discernable.
As far as noodles, I don't believe J&J advertises hand-pulled noodles or anything of that sort.
Wrappers for dumplings and xlb are a different matter. The wrappers for those thing are much more prominent in the totality of the eating experience, esp. when it comes to dumplings.
Shu mai and wonton wrappers are not used for XLB because you simply cannot twist and form them enough for XLB use. Also, after cooking, they exhibit different physical properties (colloquially known as "the yum factor").
As for the noodles, they don't specialize in hand-drawn nor hand-kneaded noodles, so it is not surprising that they buy them. Restaurants purchase almost all their supplies from wholesale grocers and suppliers, so different restaurants often start off with the same ingredients.
The cooks' talents is what makes the difference in most cases.
I'm not sure what you mean as 'dumplings' if xiao long bao doesn't count as a dumpling. As I understand it 'dumpling' is a loose category that describes some type of round wrapper enclosing some filling that's either steamed or boiled. That covers xiao long baos nicely.
If you're not in the mood for xiao long bao, Din Tai Fung does have some decent non-xiao-long-bao veggie dumplings which are steemed. I prefer the xiao-long-bao from Mei Long and the veggie dumplings from Din Tai Fung.
for xlb, i like giang-nan on garfield. . others like mei long village on valley.
for shandong style jiaozi dumplings - l prefer 101 dumpling express on valley. . try the shrimp and pumpkin ones, and the wild vegetable ones. they also have the sole ones now.
For sichuan style chao-shour, i like best szechwan in the same mall as jiang-nan.
for cantonese bao - any good dimsum house should have them - hargow, scallop dumplings as well. Try 888 seafood or any of the other multitude discussed here forever.
I say Noodle House on Santa anita/Las tunas in Arcadia or Dumpling 10053 in El monte on Garvey.