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Sep 6, 2007 02:05 PM

Kingburg Kitchen - Chinese Restaurant in San Gabriel-Best Fish Dumplings in Town

Sometimes I wonder how these restaurants name themselves. For example a recently opened boba cafe in Alhambra calls itself 85°C Tea House, kind of silly but probably trying to be hip. With the newly opened Kingburg Kitchen, 715 W. Las Tunas Dr., I have no clue where the name came from. I thought maybe the owners used to live in the San Joaquin Valley, but that's Kingsburg, not Kingburg. Name aside, the big news is that this place has the best fish dumplings I've ever had--better than Dumpling 10053 or Dumpling House or anywhere. Kingsburg Kitchen's specialty seems to be dumplings, with eight different varieties, including the relatively uncommon beef dumplings, among their very modest menu of a couple of dozen items. They also seem to be quite proud of their spicy beef noodle soup. I do wonder whether they'll be able to make a go of it, however. Besides the limited menu, they are located in the least busy of the shopping centers at the intersection of Las Tunas and Mission (the one with El Pollo Loco), across the street from the shopping centers housing Luscious Dumplings on one one corner and Golden Deli and Wan Chung on the other. Hope they'll be around for a while.

Kingburg Kitchen
715 W Las Tunas Dr, San Gabriel, CA 91776

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  1. It's a phonetic translation of the Chinese name in Mandarin.

    I agree, it's a silly name.

    And, yes, the location does not bespeak of longevity. The vortex, er, I mean intersection of Chowhound goodness --- Vietnam Kitchen, Golden Deli, Luscious Dumplings, Nanjing Kitchen, etc.

    6 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Are those places actually good? I drive by there every day, but I am too scared to try them out. Which is the best and what is good there?

      1. re: Velvet Elvis

        Which restaurants are you talking about?

        Vietnam Kitchen and Golden Deli are sister restaurants and they serve Vietnamese food. If you like noodles, try the pho, lots of different varieties with toppings like beef, etc. I'm partial to the Pho Dac Biet, which is beef and tripe.

        Then there's Luscious Dumplings which, as the name suggests, has dumplings. Different varieties like pork, fish, shrimp, etc. They also have very good beef noodle soup, which should not be confused with the pho that you would get at Golden Deli or Vietnam House.

        Nanjing Kitchen serves (how do you say this nicely?) duck that looks like it came out of the LA County coroner's office. White, pale looking things, that taste like these creatures grew up in a salt mine, but for the folks that like them, they're divine.

        There's also Newport Seafood in that corner which has great lobster and crab dishes.

        Check out fellow chowhound raytamsgv's handy guide to eating Chinese in the SGV as a primer.

        Oh, and to answer your initial question ... yes, these places are "actually good."


        1. re: ipsedixit

          Vietnam House, btw, is no longer affiliated with Golden Deli, and the food has taken a marked dip in quality. If you want to eat Golden Deli food without the lines, you'll have to drive a mile south to Saigon Flavor on Valley.

          1. re: condiment

            One of the other siblings opened Vietnam Restaurant just east on Las Tunas (I don't remember which one). It's rather small, seating about 40, I think. The menu is identical to Golden Deli's menu. It's located in the previous location of TUSK. I believe it is closed on Thursdays.

            Vietnam Restaurant
            710 W. Las Tunas Dr. #5-7
            San Gabriel 626-282-6327

      2. re: ipsedixit

        sounds good, but it will be hard to bypass nanjing or lusccious or tan cang when in the area.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          The name is so silly as the name "Jack In The Box", creative and easy to remember: King+Burg="Gold Treasure" in Mandarin pronunciation=Dumpling.

        2. I just noticed a similarity between the Kingburg dumplings and those at Dumpling 10053, e.g. sole with leek, sea cucumber with shrimp, beef with onions. I wonder if somebody at Dumpling 10053 decided to break off on their own.

          1 Reply
          1. Just tried the fish dumplings at Kingburg and liked it. Also tried their vegetable dumplings which were pretty good but could use a bit more flavor. Will have to try the fish dumplings at Dumpling House to compare. We'll be going back to Kingburg.

            1. Based on Chandavkl's posting, we made the trip to Kingburg. It is in the place which has had quite a turnover. I think the last occupant was an Indonesian restaurant, or am I remembering incorrectly? It had the fake sky painted on a dome inside.

              It looked like a mother-daughter operation - mother in the kitchen, and extra perky daughter in the front. They had the beef noodles and pork boiled dumplings on the special for the day, but the prices were the same in the printed menu - so not sure what was special about it. We ordered both of those, and also the sole fish wit leeks boiled dumplings.

              The first two orders came split - 2 plates of 5 pork dumplings, and 1 bowl of the beef noodle soup. I asked for an additional bowl to split this in 2. The daughter said "No, wait, the second bowl is coming out soon", and indeed it appeared soon after. That was a large soup bowl if it was split in two!

              The pork dumplings were quite good, with the black vinegar, soy sauce, and hot bean paste dipping combo we made. The beef noodles was also quite tasty, with good chewy noodles, lots of beef and tendon, and a dark not-so-spicy broth.

              While we were finishing these courses, she brought out the sole fish dumplings - 10 in one plate. These were good also.

              They have limited menu - they gave me a takeout menu that I am looking at:
              7 dumplings: sole fish with leeks; pork with sea cucumber and shrimp; vegetable; cabbage with shrimp and pork; plain pork; pork with Kau Choy; and beef with onion - got to try this the next time
              1 fried dish - pork with cabbage friend bun
              1 soup - chicken
              4 noodles - beef noodles spicy soup; noodles in chicken soup; pork shrimp and sea cucumber; sesame
              2 rice - shrimp fried rice; chicken with creamed corn
              and several dishes in a category without an English heading - cold stewed beef tendon; simmered beef tripe with bean curd; simmered pig knuckle; stewed eggs; simmered bean curd; simmered peanuts; cold tofu salad; cold cucumber; stewed seaweed; soy bean peas; celery and fish, etc.

              We will be back. Prices are mostly $3.25 to $6.50 for most items.

              3 Replies
              1. re: suvro

                Was in there for lunch today. There's apparently a newer menu with those items translated. There are two lunch specials, 5 dumplings (sole or pork), each served with "choice of noodle" which is basically a couple types of soup (had the beef noodle soup - excellent, spicy, w/ bits of preserved greens). Pretty great for $6!

                I also had the drink special which was a cold "plum tea". It was a dark, really dense, super-sweet juice with an odd smokiness. Have no idea what this actually is, but then, I've never actually tried prune juice. Maybe someone can enlighten me. And, I'm curious if this is a regional place and what else people could recommend.

                Anyway, it was nearly empty, and yet, across the street, people were milling about the sun-baked front of (Dumpling Master?). I'd put these at Kingburg against any in town.

                1. re: cant talk...eating

                  Luscious Dumpling??? was it on san gabriel blvd?

                  Luscious Dumplings
                  704 W Las Tunas Dr, San Gabriel, CA 91776

                  1. re: cant talk...eating

                    I have noticed the phenomena also - crowds milling outside Luscious Dumpling, but Kingburg is completely empty. Worth crossing the street!

                    Luscious Dumplings
                    704 W Las Tunas Dr, San Gabriel, CA 91776

                2. I just went here for lunch earlier today, and I agree, those fish dumplings were great. Also, the cold tofu and beef tendon "salad" that gets served is pretty tasty, too. I also had two other types of dumplings, none of which were particularly memorable. As each plate of dumplings contained 10 pieces, I only bit into two or three of each one and packaged the rest to go.

                  For me, though, the star was the beef noodles.

                  They seemed pretty busy during the lunch rush, so it bodes well for them -- as mentioned above, this stretch of road has some heavy hitters on it, so it'll be great to see them join that lineup.


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: SauceSupreme

                    Glad you caught the special drinks on the menu. (Well, it can be phonetically correct.)