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REVIEW w/foodie porn flix and pix! (Very) Luscious Dumpling

For foodie porn flix and pix click: http://myculinaryadventures.blogspot.com

A preview of coming attractions – my luscious dumpling:

This is one review wherein the flix and pix will do all of the talking for me. All I can really say about Luscious Dumpling is that it is very aptly named. The dumplings (and soup noodles) are just fabulous. I will also add that I like the fact that you can arrive there at 10:55 am on a Saturday and get a table; the same arrival time at Din Tai Fun would earn you an hour and a half wait.

The always wonderful chive, pork, egg, and shrimp dumplings (I missed the “money” shot):

The pan-fried pork dumplings – spectacular!

The stewed pork soup noodles with big pieces of unctuous pork belly – yum!

The cabbage, pork, and shrimp dumplings – delicately delicious!

Everyone loves this dish – the beef tendon soup noodles (though they forgot to bring the broth – it’s served on the side) with hot and sour sauce. Divoon!

“Flavors” stewed beef soup noodles – one non-beef eater loved this!

My favorite dumplings – the pan-fried napa, pork, and sole dumplings. These are so friggin’ good!

The steamed dumplings with cabbage, mushroom, and bean curd – good, but not the crowd favorite:

The steamed pork with soup dumplings (more on these below):

Ok, I have to say one more thing: once, I made the mistake of referring to Luscious Dumpling’s pork with soup dumplings as XLB (xiao long bao) on a chowhound thread. Not the thing to do, Dear Reader! Even though I apologized profusely (offering myself up to be pelted with several orders of soup dumplings – not a bad way to die when you think about it) I have never been forgiven and I’ve been ostracized ever since!

The above feast, with the addition of stewed flavored bean curd as an appetizer, came to $13 per person. Good times. Good times.

Luscious Dumpling
704 W. Las Tunas Drive
San Gabriel, CA 91776

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  1. Nice review.

    Even though their dumplings are indeed very good, I think people tend to overlook Luscious Dumplings' many noodle offerings, all of which are very good.

    Oh, and for what it's worth, you're forgiven about the XLB flub. :-)

    1. Swoon... drooling... drooling... swoon... reaching for a cigarette (and I don't even smoke...).

      1. In order to be truly forgiven, you must first eat at three different dumpling restaurants. Do not order xiao long bao. Instead, order three different plates of dumplings. While you are eating, say to yourself (silently, of course), "This is not xiao long bao." Continue repeating this mantra to yourself until you have swallowed. Continue until all dumplings are finished. After you have finished eating at the third restaurant, all will be forgiven. :-)

        8 Replies
        1. re: raytamsgv

          Sort of a digression, but can anyone explain to this poor dumb gringo how "xiao long bao" is pronounced?

          Also, of course, awesome review BV. I've tried to visit Luscious Dumpling three times now, and each time it's been either closed, or packed or almost out of everything. Your review makes me more determined than ever to give it a try. Maybe weekend brunch is the way to go.

          1. re: David Kahn

            David, you have to go. Next time I see you I can tell you how to pronounce. Or ask my hubby, maybe he can help you!! :-)

            1. re: David Kahn

              Probably the part of the name that throws most is the, "xiao." Think of the Italian word, "chiao," but replace the "ch" with "zh," pronouncing it from deeper within the throat. I think if you get that part, you'll be okay.

              1. re: David Kahn

                xiao = shall

                long = lung (or more like "loooong")

                bao = bow

                It's pretty rough phonetic translation, as it is almost impossible to get the inflections right, but in a tight jam, it'll do.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  Ipse, I wrote but edited, "But I think if Ipse or Das will step up, they will give you the definitive way of easily pronouncing it..."

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    To get a bit more technical,

                    Xiao = She-OW (pronounced with a down-up tone, with the low point of the town in the - mark)

                    Long = if you pronounce it 'lung' in an american way, it won't sound right... however as ipse said, in a pinch (and pronounced in between the 'xiao' and the 'bao' I'm sure they'd figure it out)

                    Bao = bow, just like she said.

                    Mr Taster
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                    1. re: Mr Taster

                      To add to what Mr. Taster said...

                      For the "xiao" -- she-OW. This will get you the right sound, just don't pronounce it as two syllables, run it together into one she-ow syllable with a dippign and rising tone.

                      Long -- Taster is right, if you say an american "lung" - it sounds odd. If you say it with a low to high tone, you will actually be saying "angle," for what its worth :-)
                      Try pronouning it with a the "long o" vowel sound. So the "lo" will be like the Lo in "Lo and Behold!" End the word with the normal english "ng" ending sound.

                      Bao == Bow and with a high level pitched tone.

                      Overall, don't worry about the tones for your first time through, the context of the restaruant will clear any confusion for hte watistaff. If you get the "long" right the rest will fall into place.

                2. Bon Vivant,
                  let's go!!!! when's good for you?

                  1. Okay, I have to ask, why *aren't* the soup dumplings at LD xiao long bao?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: mcsmcs

                      For the answer to this question, and in depth discussion of the difference between XLB and dumplings, please see this thread on General Topics: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/442135

                    2. BTW for those of you who don't know, Luscious Dumpling is CASH ONLY

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: luswei

                        and they have super kooky hours.... only open for a few hours at lunch and a few for dinner. I'm pretty sure they close around 1:30 after lunch, and after 8:00 for dinner.

                        Mr Taster
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                        Boycott Avatars!

                      2. No, No, Bad Von Vivant! Never write positive reviews of Luscious Dumpling! It is too crowded already!

                        Luscious Dumpling = divine and luscious.


                        1 Reply
                        1. re: altadenafoodguy

                          Well to cooperate with altadenafoodguy, we went to Luscious Dumpling for dinner tonight based on Bon Vivant's review and it was terrible. Terribly good, that is! I didn't realize it was such a small place so we had to wait for a few minutes. My wife and I shared a large bowl of the beef noodle soup. The noodles had just the right texture, the beef was very tasty and savory and the broth was nice and rich - normally I despise soup noodles but I loved this. We also had pork dumplings (the potsticker type) and the dumplings with pork and soup inside (I'll refrain from the Chinese names). Aside from the potstickers being a little bit greasy on the outside, everything was excellent. Very, very flavorful and nicely textured. The only other drawback: cash only, but it's not that expensive. Thanks to Bon Vivant for the timely post!

                        2. Wow, those were some delicious photos. Thanks so much. Now where the heck might a lunch such as this be found here in NYC?

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: vvvindaloo

                            A place I prefer to Luscious Dumplings is Dumpling 10053 in El Monte. The reason I mention this is that the roots of Dumpling 10053 were supposedly in a place called Lin's Dumplings on Pell St. in NY Chinatown. However, when I went looking for Lin's a couple of years ago I couldn't find it, so I presume it's shut down. I suspect Lin's was the only place in Manhattan that served those kind of dumplings, particularly since there's not a lot of northern China food in Manhattan--just Cantonese, Fuzhou and some Shanghai food. I guess the closest would be all of the $5/1 fried pork dumpling places in the east part of Manhattan Chinatown, but those are nothing like the stuff you see here. (Technically I guess they're Beijing style dumplings, but they've evolved into a low cost snack food.)

                            1. re: Chandavkl

                              i ate at Lin's (i believe it is closed now) and it was alright, but definately nothing special...any of the places in the solid SGV dumpling places are substantially better

                          2. MMmmmm...Dumplings....mmm.
                            This viasual porn was equal toa 12 year old boy with his first Hustler.
                            Geepers! I've just gotten home from an amazing dinner and after looking at those pictures, I want to eat a dumpling!!! What are you trying to do to us!
                            They look sooooo goood!