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Help! xiao long bao between Santa Monica and Hollywood!

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I KNOW that the best place to get XLB is the SGV, and I PROMISE you that I will wend my way out to Din Tai Fung soon, and I will compare it with Mei Long Village. I realize that nothing I find east of Arcadia will taste anywhere near as good/authentic/etc. but I am pregnant, and I REALLY want some soup dumplings, and I live and work nowhere near the San Gabriel Valley. Is there ANYWHERE on the West Side or Hollywood (or points in between) that sells Xiao Long Bao? Help me, please!

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  1. hmm, I kind of doubt it. However, Hunan Taste on San Vicente has something called "Juicy dumplings" on the menu -- this place isn't incredible or anything but you could ask them if it's the same thing.

    1. I really don't know of any. The only thing I can think of is if you have someone (say, and adoring spouse) who lives out there/can get out there, I know J&J will pack unsteamed (yes, raw) XLB up for you, and someone can drive them out to you (hopefully in a cooler). My parents live out in Santa Monica, and when they're in the SGV, they usually get a few orders to take home for the freezer, and then cook them at their leisure.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sidwich

        Many restaurants will sell frozen dumplings (inlcluding XLB). It won't taste as good as freshly made ones, but they'll probably be good enough. You should call first and ask how much it would cost to get them in quantity (e.g 50 - 200).

      2. Wei-chuan makes frozen xiao long baos that are not bad. You can find them at 99 Ranch or other asian markets. Just buy a few bamboo steamers and steam them up. They might be better than what restaurants in the westside will serve.

        1. Golden China in Culver City has what they call "steamed dumplings in hot sauce" which is probably as close as you are going to get to xlb-type dumplings west of downtown LA.

          www.goldenchinaculvercity.com

          1 Reply
          1. re: ipsedixit

            ipsedixit, sadly, i work in Culver City - this and another place called Hu's Garden on National are about the only things remotely close to a cuisine called Chinese food. oh the horror in these places haha... that's why it's critical that i make it out to SGV for food on the weekends.

          2. just recently i had leftover xlb from ding tai fung. (dont ask me how there were leftovers and i think i ate about 3 baskets by myself).

            i took them home in a to go styrofoam box. and heated them up in the microwave at work for breakfast 3 days later. and it was actually good!

            not juicy xlb good, but still good. way better than any dim sum version of xlb.

            i got some from a house behind HK supermarket. they make san jian bao, xiao long bao and lions head meatballs but i've since lost their phone number. it seems that people sell illegally out of their house all over the SGV, you just need to know some chinese tai tais to hook you up with a dealer. its fun when you buy dumplings and you feel like you just scored an 8 ball of uncut cane.

            7 Replies
            1. re: modernist

              Great mental image. I'm trying to imagine people on street corners peddling their wares to others in tattered soup-stained shirts as they discretely announce, "You want some XLB, man? I got pork, I got shrimp, watchu want? I got your XLB right here. This is the good sh**, straight from San Gabriel, you know."

              1. re: modernist

                ...that sounds cool, it would be like the 'corn' ladies outside of my school that peddle their ears w/mayo, lemon juice, cheese and chili. They also sell those pinwheel chips with hot sauce and lemon juice.

                1. re: modernist

                  i showed up with a cooler with some ice packs and was like, "yo, gimme one baggie of the A grade XLB! the top loading freezer is right at the front door and the girls got a price list. you dont even go into the house". to be perfectly honest, the XLB werent that great and they took a long ass time to steam. i liked the san jian bao better with the crispy bottoms!

                  1. re: modernist

                    Just curious--I know we can't post the addresses on the board. Was this place on Avondale?

                    1. re: Chandavkl

                      this was over a year ago but i recall it being a block or two west of garfield on a north south street. so most likely it was baltimore or huntington. essentially it was behind hong kong supermarket. im sure i could find it again...

                      1. re: modernist

                        this is the same place behind Hong Kong supermarket. her stuff isn't bad at all. i remember getting 50 xlb's for $12.50.

                  2. re: modernist

                    i know of a XLB dealer in Monterey Park... near garvey/atlantic. she's got two freezers full of handmade goodies... xlb's, scallion pancakes, wontons, shrimp/leek dumplings... i have her business menu magnet somewhere in my car...

                  3. i heard my xlb dealer talking about putting a hit on yours. some big turf war is going down real soon in the underground xlb world.

                    keep your kids inside...its gonna get ugly

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: modernist

                      haha. i think we have the same dealer though - she's tough.

                    2. Mandarette on Beverly Blvd and Orlando (just E of La Cienega) actually had decent xiao long bao. The broth popped out of the filling, and the wrapper was nice and thin, with a good al dente chew to it. I was really surprised when Mandarette had reasonably authentic xiao long bao (I think listed as a dumpling on the menu) when I ate there a little over a year ago.

                      I now live in Pasadena and get my fill of crab and pork XLB @ J & J (Jin Jiang) in San Gabriel. SO GOOD there. One week I tasted the crab and pork XLB @ Din Tai Fung, Mei-long Village, and J & J. Not only was J & J's the least expensive but it was by far the tastiest. I'm a huge fan of Shanghai cuisine and its dimsum.

                      I hear you re. cravings since I'm 39 weeks along myself.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: apfb

                        Really? Mandarette? We actually ordered delivery from them the other night and it was absolutely the worst Chinese food I have had. But if they have XLB, it might be worth another shot.