Where to get Soup Dumplings in OC?
I must have them, where do I go?
you're going to need to go to Arcadia or SGV. Not much in the OC. There are places that will serve them (Sam Woo, China Garden, etc.), but if your experience is like mine, you will be sorely disappointed.
Try Din Tai Fung, Mei Long Village, or any of the other suggestions you'll get if you do a search for xiao long bao.
I'll third the suggestion to go to Din Tai Fung, Mei Long Village, et al.
If you absolutely have to keep it in the OC, head over the Irvine's Chinatown area. Ay Chung Noodle has it on their menu. Expect it to take 20 minutes from the time you order. China Garden will make it during dim sum service on the weekends only. It's not something you can order at CG; they sporadically make a batch and it spawns from time to time throughout the morning. Don't quote me on it, but I think Tri Village also makes soup dumplings.
4790 Irvine Blvd, Irvine, CA 92620
14121 Jeffrey Rd, Irvine, CA 92620
Ay Chung Noodle
5406 Walnut Ave, C Irvine, CA
Not quite OC, but on the border, in Cerritos/Artesia area, there are a few places that you can get them.
Caanan on South St.
Shanghai Style Restaurant on Pioneer
I just went to CAB last night and had them.
I actually really liked the other food we had there (whatever they decided to call bo luc lac -- it came across as "red cooked beef" in Chinese -- and ong choy with garlic) but the dumplings had that kind of "old ground pork" flavour.
Funnily, I found the dumplings because I was looking at Chinese names (it's hopeless to try and read an English menu if you're looking for a particular dish), and sure enough, it said 上海小籠包 next to "Shanghai steamed pork dumplings". When I ordered, the waitress mentioned that we ate like Chinese people.
Chef Chen's in Irvine has them, as "steamed mini pork buns" on the menu.
Chef Chen's Restaurant
5408 Walnut Ave, Irvine, CA 92604