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ISO soup dumplings...in LA or OC

I was watching all the food shows that travel around and saw that there is a thing called soup dumplings where there is actually "soup" inside ..yummmm or you can drink with a straw out of the dumpling. Is there any place in OC or LA that serves these as well as all the other delicious dim sum/dumplings? Can't wait to hear!

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  1. They're known as Xiao Long Bau - although I always spell it wrong. If, in any event, you do a search of this board for XLB you'll find plenty of discussions of them - and some controversy as to which are the best in town. My personal favorites are at J&J Shanghai, 301 W. Valley Blvd. in San Gabriel. They are called "juicy pork dumplings" on the menu. They also have them with pork and crab.

    7 Replies
    1. re: estone888

      very close! xiao long bao =)

      my current fave place to go at the moment for xlb is mei long village.

        1. re: Pinkwasabi

          It is in the same strip mall as J&J Shanghai, along the same row of shops. You can try them at both places and see which you like better. There is also a third place - next door to J&J - that is known for its XLB, but they are my least favorite of the three.

          1. re: estone888

            that 3rd place in the strip mall is dragon mark.

            1. re: wilafur

              and from my experience, Dragon Mark's service leaves much to be desired.

              1. re: snooze button

                I like all 3 places, but unlike some of the other posters on this board, I prefer Dragon Mark as the best. No one speaks English, but you can point to the menu, and they'll figure it out.

                I don't go to Dragon Mark (or any small Chinese restaurant that serves dumplings and opens until late at night) for the service.

                -----
                Dragon Mark (Yitiao Long)
                301 W Valley Blvd Ste 110, San Gabriel, CA 91776

          2. re: Pinkwasabi

            Here are the locations of Mei Long Village and J&J. Dragon Mark is located between them: http://www.geocities.com/raytamsgv/ch...

      1. Kang Kang at Garfield and Valley has very good fried soup dumplings - sort of the pot sticker version of XLB.

        5 Replies
        1. re: mrhooks

          are you saying you can pan fry, get a crust on the bottom -- of an XLB? That sounds like heaven. I'm wondering if their skin is thicker, I can't imagine pan frying the delicate DinTaiFung XLB, possibly J&J/MLV, but even those seem like their skins would easily break. I'm going to have to try them at KK the next time I'm in the area. Do you request them pan fried, or is that just how they come at KK? Thanks.

            1. re: debra

              At Kang Kang Food Court they have pictures of their famous pan fried soup dumpling on the doors when you walk in. They come 6 to an order and they are pan fried. Plenty of pictures and a steam table of items if you want to point and choose. Menu is huge- order from the cashier and they will deliver it to your table. The skin is a bread texture. They are dangerously hot and messy if you aren't careful with your first bite...so dangerous there are warning signs posted.

              Kang Kang Food Court
              27 W. Valley Blvd.
              Alhambra

              1. re: monku

                you had me at bao... pan fried, bao, and soup dumpling -- in one bite, holy cow. I'll be heading that way soon. Thanks Ipse, Monku, & MrH.

              2. re: debra

                Yeah, they're bigger and the skin is thicker and breadier, so the pot sticker analogy isn't exact, but you get the idea. :) In Mandarin they're called sheng jian bao (high tone for all three words), but I think they'll know what you mean if you ask for fried soup dumplings. I think that's what they call it on the big yellow menu near the ceiling in the dining area. It's around $5.50 for one order (I got 8 in my order when I was there), whereas XLB are closer to $5.

                They are a bit dangerous to eat. Nibble a little hole at the top and slowly, carefully suck out the soup.

            2. Din Tai Fung is famous for their xiao long bao, and they recently expanded their Arcadia location.

              1 Reply
              1. re: SauceSupreme

                Recently went there for the first time, with NYC visitors in tow, and we all LOVED these soup dumplings. I dream about them now...

              2. Hi - I had some, or what was proported to be them, at Daisy Mint in Pasadena. I'm not sure how much liquid is supposed to be in them, there wasn't much, but I really liked the flavors. We were instructed to bite them open and sip out the liquid.

                1. What is called Xiao Lung Bao may not be what you saw as soup dumpling. There is a New York version that's different from what you see here and in Shanghai. And the version where you can drink the soup with a straw is, IMO, an abomination.

                  The "authentic" version are small (bite size) and has thin walls.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: PeterL

                    Agreed. I don't think I've seen the mega bao that Bourdain got, but if it's around, I'm definitely game to try it.

                    1. re: PeterL

                      tang bao's? i am actually looking forward to trying them when i head to china this summer.

                      why is it such an abomination?

                      1. re: wilafur

                        XLB are small and delicate. To make it a huge thing with a straw sticking out of it is IMO an abomination. Might as well get a bread bowl and clam chowder.

                    2. thanks for the responses...we're going to try and can't wait. Does anyone know if there are any places in OC?

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: Pinkwasabi

                        Only, as far as I know, 3-6-9 Shanghai, and they only have xiao long bao (not sheng jian bao) and they manage to mangle them so that the soup runs out while being steamed.

                        In short, no, not really. You can buy them frozen at 99 Ranch in Irvine or Anaheim and steam them at home -- not as good as Mei Long Village but better than 3-6-9.

                        1. re: Pinkwasabi

                          Mandarin in Fountain Valley has excellent XLB.

                          1. re: PeterL

                            Mandarin has XLB.

                            Excellent XLB? Not so much.

                          2. re: Pinkwasabi

                            Speaking of the OC, I know there are some GREAT dimsum places on jeffrey Road (off the 405), but I can't remember the name? Its like China Harbor or Harbor something? Does anyone know?

                              1. re: christof

                                China Garden was not "GREAT" in my experince.

                            1. I am wondering if the op is referring to the soup dumpling sometimes served at cantonese dim sum places. In cantonese, it is pronounced, goon tong gao. A largish dumpling fit inside a small rice bowl. Usually filled with pork, mushroom, dried scallops, shark fin etc with plenty of soup. Sometimes slivers of ginger and red vinegar is mixed in to the dumpling to enhance the taste. Yes, this dumpling you can actually use a straw.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: curtiskan

                                "Soup dumplings" seems to be what they call XLB in NYC. At least that's been my experience with New Yorkers. kwun tong gao are, in my experience, a very different beast.

                                1. re: estone888

                                  I've eaten soup dumplings at Joe's Shanghai and the various XLB here. XLB are SMALLER than soup dumplings, but they're not tong bao (the gigantic ones you eat with a straw). The soup dumplings from Joe's are probably 3-4 inches across. Most XLB I've had in LA have been 1-2 inches across.