Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
Apr 4, 2009 03:05 PM

Din Tai Fung: delish

Went to Din Tai Fung today for the first time and was blown away. Well, not blow away because I still love the dim sum at elite but Din Tai Fung was very very good. Cant wait to go back and double it up with a day betting on ponies at Santa Anita. Pork and crab dumplings really stood out.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. If you've searched the board, then you'll know that your sentiments about DTF are quite widely shared.

    1. I am glad that you like it. The only decent thing there these days is the xiao long baos. Everything else is average.

      Also, probably splitting hair here...but dim sum at Elite and what DTF offers are from different regions.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Vince S

        what is Elite's region? and What is DTF? Im learning . . .

        1. re: blackbookali

          Elite is Cantonese, and does not have XLB.

          DTF is supposed to be serving Shanghainese food (XLB is a Shanghainese speciality).

          1. re: ipsedixit

            Hound code, de-coded:

            DTF = Din Tai Fung

            XLB = xiao long bao (what they serve at Din Tai Fung), literally meaning small caged buns. XLBs are a Shanghai specialty, and not Cantonese. XLB are often referred to as soup dumplings, which is actually a misnomer in my opinion.

            Elite = a Cantonese restaurant serving dim sum

            dim sum = Cantonese style "brunch", consisting of small plates of various foods.

            Hope that helps...

            1. re: J.L.

              please note that elite is not a one trick pony. their dinner service is quite good.

              1. re: wilafur

                Well aware of the fact Elite serves dinner, etc. I meant that Elite happens to serve dim sum too.

                1. re: J.L.

                  that was not directed at you. it was just a clarification for folks that have never been to elite.

      2. I agree it is a good coupling with Santa Anita (but save room for the corned beef sandwich there); however, there are other places that serve XLB that are lauded on this board.

        If you want to get XLB at dim sum go to Capital Seafood on Atlantic next to the 99 Ranch in MP, or King Hua in Alhambra

        Capital Seafood Restaurant
        755 W Garvey Ave, Monterey Park, CA 91754

        King Hua Restaurant
        2000 W Main St, Alhambra, CA 91801

        6 Replies
        1. re: noshie

          Neither King Hua or Capital have XLB.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            I have most definitely had pork buns in small aluminum cups with soup in them that you pop the whole thing in your mouth at Capital and I thougth I did at King Hua. What am I thinking of?

              1. re: ipsedixit

                Elite has them in the little aluminum cups and they are definitely XLB. They are not, however, very good. Other than that, however, I am very fond of Elite's dim sum.

                For that matter I was at DTF last week for the first time in quite some time and was reminded of why I haven't been for a while. It isn't very good. My girlfriend wanted the XLB with pork and crab and I am almost certain they used canned crab meat - even my girlfriend thought they were mediocre, at best.. (At J&J you can frequently watch them picking crab meat out of little crabs with toothpicks to put into their XLB.) We had some new shrimp and pork dumpling that was bland and involved very overcooked shrimp. The appetizer and the green beans were as good as ever - which is very good - but still, I don't think I'll be going back.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  Hmmmm. Sounds like they are XLB, albeit maybe not shining stars of their kind, I'm fine with them, dribble on some red vinegar, bite off the twist top and slurp down some of the soup to avoid roof mouth burn and I'm good to go. These are not the reason to go to dim sum, I give you that, but they are there in case you want them, sounds like the OP wanted their dim sum and then some (XLB).

                  1. re: noshie

                    What you had are probably what Elite's menu labels as "Shanghai style steamed buns" which are not XLB, and which I don't believe are on the menu anymore.

          2. The frozen ones they sell at 99 ranch taste better than DTF anyday!!!

            9 Replies
            1. re: A5 KOBE

              Any brand in particular for the frozen ones at 99 Ranch Market (or were you just trying to make a point so you could slam DTF)?

                1. re: A5 KOBE

                  although i'm not a fan of dtf, you gotta be smoking crack with your statement above.

                  1. re: wilafur

                    i am dead serious. opt for the shrimp and pork shaomai.

                    flavor at DTF is the problem, not the dumpling wrapper itself.

                    or better yet, opt for Dragon Mark or JnJ, or like i said, the frozen ones like i said

                    --SEL the brand is called Prime Foods and it is called "mini soupy pork buns" although lack a good skin, have GOOD xlb flavor.

                    like i said they are not the best, but will take them over DTF anyday.

                    1. re: A5 KOBE

                      Well, see, there's your first problem.

                      Shoamai are NOT xiao long baos.

                      Say what you want about frozen shaomai, and say what you want about the XLB at DTF, but comparing the two is exactly what the trite exrpession of "comparing apples to oranges" was invented for.

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        I said opt for the shaomai instead of the XLB.

                        I have had XLB plenty of times, and the best thing by far at DTF is the shaomai.

                        Reading is sometimes fun as well.

                        1. re: A5 KOBE

                          i'll have to pick up a pack of prime foods xlb next time i'm at 99. but then again, a xlb is not complete without both good skin and good flavor. alas, i have not found any very good xlb in socal.....just a bunch of mediocre to decent xlb.

                          gonna give DSW a try next time i am out in the sgv.

                      2. re: A5 KOBE

                        Thanks A5 KOBE, I'll pick up some soon cause occasionally I do eat/dine at home!

                        1. re: sel

                          i ate there today. the fish dumplings are actually what was outstanding. i liked the rice cakes too, but the fish dumplings were truly wonderful. MUCH better than the pork-crab (yes, canned) dumplings