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Chicken Bao. Where?

I've done many steamed pork bao's and have been left unimpressed. My girlfriend says that the chicken lover in me would like chicken bao, but neither of us know where to go. I'm assuming this hunt for the best will take me from my home in the SFV to somewhere in the SGV, which I am willing to do.

Any idea where to go?

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  1. To start with you can go to BBQ Unlimited on Sherman Way between Coldwater Cyn and Ethel. Then after that, go to any of the dim sum places in the SGV. If you want takeout, 888 has takeout or go to one of the Yum Cha Cafes (http://www.yumchacafe.com) splattered around the area.

    Cantonese for it is "gaai bao", rhymes sort of with "why now".

    2 Replies
    1. re: Das Ubergeek

      A gai bao is made of pork. Although "gai" mean chicken, I think they call it a chicken bun because there's 1/2 an egg in each bun. Sandwich Express and the market next door to Pho So 1 in Reseda both sell gai baos. I believe they're supplied by CBS in Chinatown.

      1. re: Galen

        I think perhaps we're thinking of different things. The gai bao I know are chicken and ginger in a bao bun.

    2. Family Pastry has them for 85 cents each and they're big enough to make a meal.

      Longs Family Pastry
      715 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA

      1. Try Lucky Deli on N. Broadway in Chinatown. They may sell it in bulk in the refrigerated section like their steamed char siu baos. I believe I paid $3.60 for half dozen? They also have hot dim sum to go. The siu mai plates (8 pieces) were $2.80 if I remembered correctly?

        1. New Won Kok in Chinatown has them, not sure how good they are.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Burger Boy

            The really good ones have 1/2 an egg, Chinese sausage and mushroom in them. There was a place I used to get them at in Chinatown but I never knew the name of the place. Next time I'm at Sandwich Express I'll try the ones they get from CBS for you.

            1. re: Galen

              The New Won Kok does not have egg or sausage inside as far as I know, more like a brown gravy with chicken in a Bao

          2. Try CBS Seafood in Chinatown. They have two sizes. The regular ones that often come in dim sum carts and a larger one with a half boiled egg and a piece of either sausage or charbroiled pork (can't remember which). They're cheap and filling. You can grab them from the takeout side of the restaurant.

            CBS Seafood
            700 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

            1. Had some recently at Top Island Restaurant on Valley and Almansor St. in Alhambra. Very popular and crowded at lunchtime. Prices are dirt cheap for dim sum. Lots of parking the shopping center lot.

              1. I happen to like the chicken bao at Empress Pavillion in Chinatown. They also have a baked chicken bun which is delicious.

                1. In Long Beach you can get some fresh baos at a place called Dragon Sea Restaurant. They serve a Cambodian or Lao style bun, but some of the cooks speak Chinese, so I think they are a blend. Anyways, they have both BBQ pork as well as chicken w/the chinese sausage and egg and they also have a ground pork w/the chinese sausage and egg as well. These are not like the real Chinese gai boas that you may be searching for, but they are fresh and they have it most all day long for about $1 each. They also sell fresh sui mai 2 for $1 that are pretty tasty.
                  Dragon Sea
                  1239 Anaheim St

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: justagthing

                    If you can't find Chinese chicken buns, many Filipino markets also sell Filipino-style buns made with chicken. If not Chinese or Filipino, you could also try going to Lao markets because some of them sell Lao-style chicken buns. Vietnamese markets also sell their own Vietnamese-style chicken buns.

                  2. You can also buy some in the deli section of the Ranch 99 Market on Sepulveda

                    1. Yum Cha Cafe has a pretty good steamed chicken bun @ only $0.99.