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Aug 29, 2008 10:45 AM

?Best Xiao Long Bao/Soup Dumplings in LA?

I'm a recent transplant to LA from NY craving Shanghainese xiao long bao/soup dumplings!

Reveries of Joe's Shanghai on Pell Street in NY's Chinatown make me drool!

Any ideas?

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  1. Jin Jiang, Mei Long Village, and Din Tai Fung are 3 of the top places to start at.

    Jin Jiang and Mei Long Village are both in the same shopping complex, so you could try both of them one right after another.

    Din Tai Fung Restaurant
    1108 S Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007

    Jin Jiang Restaurant
    109 W Valley Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776

    Mei Long Village
    301 W Valley Blvd Ste 112, San Gabriel, CA 91776

    2 Replies
    1. re: Wonginator

      Is the Jin Jiang in the SGV associated with the Jin Jiang in W.L.A. on the north side of Santa Monica Blvd. east of Sepulveda?

      1. re: nosh

        FYI: the SGV restaurant is actually "Jin Jian," not "Jin Jiang."

    2. Avoiding the "best" XLB question, but still trying to answer your query.

      There really isn't an LA equivalent of the Joe's style XLB. The closest you'll find is J&J (or Jin Jiang) in San Gabriel.

      The LA equivalent of Joe's in terms of XLB notoriety and fame would be Din Tai Fung, but be warned, the style of XLB at Din Tai Fung is no where close to what Joe's dishes out. Not saying one is necessarily better than the other, but the two are different. Sort of like going to McDonald's and ordering a Big Mac and expecting a sirloin burger -- gonna be rather disappointed.

      As an aside, in my opinion, the best thing to get at Joe's is the braised pork shoulder. Give me a plate of that and some rice and I can die a happy chowhound ...

      5 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit

        not to highjack this thread..but do you know of any place in the San Fernando Valley that serves XLB? You seem to be the resident expert. I've enjoyed reading your posts, Ipsedixit.

        1. re: LA Buckeye Fan

          You might want to check with fellow chowhound "Chandavkl". He gets around quite a bit and if anyone knows a good lead on XLB in the Valley, he would.

          Good luck to the Buckeyes and Chris Wells ...

            1. re: LA Buckeye Fan

              Famous UCLA saying: "My 2 favorite teams are UCLA and anyone playing USC..."

              1. re: J.L.

                for me it's the buckeyes and anybody playing michigan. :)

      2. I haven't been to Joe's, but if you're craving the kind of XLB that are impossibly small, delicate, and bursting w/ meat juice (i.e, the ones that are made in Shanghai), then I've never found anything like it in the LA area. The ones at JJ and Mei Long are much bigger and more clumsily made, and the ones at DTF lack the juiciness. I've resorted to making my own as a result.....

        1 Reply
        1. re: panglosspig

          Don't leave us hanging: send us the recipe!

        2. I went to NYC last month and visited Joe's. Honestly I like the options out in San Gabriel Valley much better. Although I've only been to Din Tai Fung for xlb, Joe's dumplings are huge, much too doughy, and the soup is not as flavorful and too greasy. In contrast, Din Tai Fung's xlb are much smaller and delicate. I guess it's personal preference. IMHO, Asian cuisine in California is much more authentic than NYC, given it's a shorter distance to the West coast vs East coast from the motherland.

          1 Reply
          1. re: groover808

            you are not off. joe's shanghai in nyc has dramatically gone downhill within the last 4-5 years, due to tourism and national hype. as bad as it has gotten, sadly, it's still among some of the better options for XLB in ny. but i would recommend avoiding the manhattan branches (or chinese food altogether) and head for flushing.

          2. my faves (always posting as they get ignored) xlb at Giang Nan (aka De yue lou) in the mall 300 n garfield just north of garvey in monterey park

            and for huaiyang food in general also like j.z. in n.e. corner mall, new and valley in alhambra.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Jerome

              I've been to Giang Nan twice and ordered XLB each time. It's almost as good, but nonetheless still not as good as Jin Jian's.

              1. re: J.L.

                now i have to go to jin jian(g). I'm sure it's the jinjiang that's the river in shanghai and the old pre-1949 big swinging hotel and club in the French concession.

                1. re: Jerome

                  For some reason, I think Giang Nan has been going downhill recently.

                  I used to really enjoy their pork knuckle, but the last time I tried it was dry (how is that possible with pork shank) and overly salty, no hint of brown sugar.

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    Back to the dependable pork pump at Mei Long Village!