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Jun 3, 2001 09:36 PM

Din Tai Fung Update

  • j

After becoming immersed in the Religion of Soup DumplingsĀ© while living in New York City, I was worried that my recent move back home to L.A. would leave me longing for New Green Bo, Shanghai Cuisine, or Joe's on a regular basis.

But my first dinner at DTF in Arcadia has given me hope.

While the dumplings at DTF seem to be missing a certain "something" when compared to the three names above (the "skins" seem to be a bit chewy/thick/undercooked), they are excellent and could very well be the best dumplings in SoCal(?).

My wife and I jumped right in and started with the juicy pork dumplings and crab & pork dumplings. I think the crab & pork were either off that night, or they're a bit overrated at this location. (I have also read that lunch-time quality is better than dinner, so...) The juicy pork dumplings (#50) were definitely the best, although I thought they could've been a bit more soupy.

We also tried the shrimp & pork dumplings (#53), which were not soup dumplings, but looked more like steamed gyoza. These were disappointing. I'll give the shrimp & pork shiaomai (#54) a try next time, but I'm not holding my breath.

(As a side note, I love the fact that they give you a dish of ginger per person at the beginning, with a little jar of the dark vinegar sauce on the table. No more asking for "more sauce, please"!)

The Sour and Spicy Soup was great - packed with meat and vegetables, almost the right amount of sour. And the sauteed spinach with garlic was AWESOME. Not to be missed - better than what I've had in NYC.

No. 58 Pork Bun was sadly sold-out, as well as Small Dumplings with Soup. For that, I'll have to make an extra early trip out there.

Biggest drawback - 37 miles from my house! Am I crazy driving all that way for soup dumplings?!


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  1. do they serve non-pork offerings or is pork an ingredient in virtually all the dishes. and they do have a considerable number of non-pork dishes, which ones are good?

    2 Replies
    1. re: kevin

      actually, they do have several non-pork items. next on my list to try are the soups, both noodle and regular. but as i'm sitting here reading a copy of their menu, about 60% of the items contain pork...

      i would say try the House Chicken Soup (#15), Sauteed Spinach with Garlic (#19), Shanghai Rice Cake (#7, not sure if contains pork), and maybe House Beef Noodle (#2).

      1. re: Joe Blowe

        Rice cake does contain pork, but they'll substitute chicken if you ask.

    2. Sounds good, but how does it compare to Mei Long Village in San gabriel?

      2 Replies
      1. re: Frank C.

        Meilong wins, hands down. The original Din Tai Fung
        in Taipei is great. Based on reputation, a lot of us
        went, but so far I find it overpriced (relative
        to S. Gabriel norm) and just average in flavor.

        1. re: Frank C.

          I hit Mei Long Village this weekend for a soup dumpling fix. Mmmmmmmmm. I thought they were better than Din Tai Fung (and more similar to ones I've had in NYC). Plus, I think Mei Long Village is a slightly shorter drive...which ain't sayin much. It's still at least 30 minutes away.