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Anyone know where to buy the metal steamers they use at Din Tai Fung?

Dylan Aug 4, 2009 02:34 PM

I'm assuming many of you have eaten at Din Tai Fung in Baldwin Park...they cook and serve the dumplings there in an metal stackable steamer...functionally similar to the bamboo steamer, but instead made of metal.

As a side note, I've kind of given up on the bamboo steamers...they are hard to keep clean and they tend to decay.

I've been searching around for a place to buy the particular ones they use there (either by mail or locally), but I haven't had any luck. And in fact I asked them and they claimed I could buy them at any Chinese cookware store, which is clearly not true.

Is there perhaps a Chinese restaurant supply store that sells them? I've actually wandered around the big one on Alameda (whose name escapes me) and couldn't find them there.


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  1. Das Ubergeek RE: Dylan Aug 4, 2009 02:43 PM

    You can buy them at larger 99 Ranch stores, also Hawaii supermarket, and in the San Gabriel Superstore on Valley and San Gabriel Blvd.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Das Ubergeek
      ipsedixit RE: Das Ubergeek Aug 4, 2009 11:11 PM

      Yeah, Hawai'i Supermarket is probably your best bet. Best prices and largest selection.

      1. re: ipsedixit
        monku RE: ipsedixit Aug 5, 2009 03:54 PM

        Saw a banner out front that said "Grand Opening", they under new owners or something?

    2. monku RE: Dylan Aug 4, 2009 04:07 PM

      You might try Action Sales in Monterey Park a restaurant supply store.
      Action Sales Inc
      415 S Atlantic Blvd, Monterey Park, CA 91754-3209
      (626) 308-1988

      8 Replies
      1. re: monku
        sel RE: monku Aug 4, 2009 09:52 PM

        You beat me to it. Action Sales is my favorite place for restaurant equipment and supplies, especially Asian stuff!

        1. re: sel
          monku RE: sel Aug 4, 2009 10:18 PM

          They seem to have everything any Asian restaurant has.
          I would have sent the poster downtown just outside of Chinatown (near Nick's Cafe) where there a bunch of cash and carry Chinese restaurant supply places I slum around, but I don't even know the names, just where they are.

          1. re: monku
            sel RE: monku Aug 4, 2009 10:50 PM

            Now I gotta go downtown and scrounge around there - thanks!

            1. re: sel
              westsidegal RE: sel Aug 6, 2009 06:11 PM

              if you go around lunchtime, you could have lunch at homegirl cafe on bruno and alameda

              1. re: westsidegal
                monku RE: westsidegal Aug 6, 2009 06:37 PM

                Nick's Cafe....best ham & eggs in town, Denver omelette and home made salsa. Tuesday & Thursday is BBQ day.

                Real LA people eat there....police (uniform and undercover), city & county workers even saw Tom LaBonge eating breakfast there one day.
                Owned by an LAPD detective.

                Matter of fact one of those Chinese cash & carry joints is right next door and another right across the street there on Elmyra. Got a couple of those Victoronix paring knives there for like $3.50 each. They also carry that ABC black tea (green bag) in a 5 pound bag for like $6...it's the brand they serve it at the cheap Chinese restaurants in town and it makes good brewed iced tea.

                Nick's Cafe
                1300 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

                1. re: monku
                  sel RE: monku Aug 6, 2009 07:51 PM

                  I've been driving past Nick's Cafe without stopping. I'm down for the ham but not really into eggs. Anything else you rec? Pancakes or sandwiches or.......?

                  1. re: sel
                    monku RE: sel Aug 6, 2009 08:04 PM

                    Sorry about the egg thing...but they're known for their baked ham and eggs. They bake whole hams everyday and hand carve them. They've got pancakes and French toast and yes sandwiches. But figure out something you can put their salsa on.
                    The BBQ lunches are pretty good on Tuesdays & Thursdays starting at 10am.

                    Come to think of it I've only eaten the ham & eggs, Denver Omelette and different BBQ lunches. No sandwiches or pancakes.

                    Worth checking out if you want a taste of the old LA.

                    They open at 5am and close by 2pm and on Saturdays they close at 11am. Closed Sunday.

                    (always think of Nick's Cafe when I see the painting "Nighthawks" by Edward Hopper)

                2. re: westsidegal
                  sel RE: westsidegal Aug 6, 2009 07:48 PM

                  Never actually ate at Homegirl, just got drinks and bakery stuff to go. I just may do that!

                  Homegirl Cafe
                  130 Bruno St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

        2. J.L. RE: Dylan Aug 4, 2009 05:01 PM

          Bamboo steamers are a bear to maintain, but I am of the opinion that the taste of the food is better from the bamboo steamers.

          99 Ranch sells metal steamers. Actually Williams-Sonoma sells them too, just at a ridiculous markup.

          4 Replies
          1. re: J.L.
            Sam D. RE: J.L. Aug 5, 2009 10:34 PM

            When Din Tai Fung was in its planning stage, the owners intended to use bamboo steamers. They were surprised and disappointed to find out that the use of bamboo steamers is forbidden by the health department.

            1. re: Sam D.
              J.L. RE: Sam D. Aug 6, 2009 03:22 AM

              Really?! Bamboo steamers are verboten?

              1. re: J.L.
                Sam D. RE: J.L. Aug 6, 2009 06:24 AM

                That is what I understood from reading a news article describing the challenges that Din Tai Fung went through in opening the restaurant. So the info is not first hand. But it makes sense because I've never seen any restaurant, Asian or other, using anything but stainless steel steamers, at least here in L. A. County. And between the two types of steamers, stainless would be far less prone to any risk of contamination.

                1. re: J.L.
                  Professor Salt RE: J.L. Aug 6, 2009 09:04 AM

                  Yes. California's Uniform Retail Food Code prohibits wood as food contact surface except for cutting boards and a few other items like salad bowls.

                  Chapter 6, Article 1, Section 114132

            2. b
              Bjartmarr RE: Dylan Aug 4, 2009 05:31 PM

              I think I saw these for sale at LAX-C.

              Or I could be misremembering things. I was kind of gibbering at the time at the sheer size of the place.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Bjartmarr
                Sam D. RE: Bjartmarr Aug 5, 2009 10:29 PM

                LAX-C does have them with a wide choice of sizes. They're located on N. Main St. just outside of Chinatown.

              2. hppzz RE: Dylan Aug 4, 2009 06:28 PM

                Saw a bunch of stainless steel steamers at various sizes in LA chinatown--it's in the shopping plazas with individual stalls--several of them sell pots and pans and you can definitely bargain if you like.

                1 Reply
                1. re: hppzz
                  Dylan RE: hppzz Aug 5, 2009 12:19 AM

                  Thanks everyone. I'm excited to check out Action Sales - that's exactly the kind of place I was looking for.

                2. f
                  foodmor RE: Dylan Aug 5, 2009 05:37 PM

                  there are many resturants supply stores in the san gabriel valley. the one i can name at this moment is right across the street from ABC seafood resturant.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: foodmor
                    monku RE: foodmor Aug 5, 2009 06:19 PM

                    NBC Seafood? (wrong network)..........Across the street Action Sales. (mentioned above)

                    Action Sales Inc
                    415 S Atlantic Blvd, Monterey Park, CA 91754-3209
                    (626) 308-1988

                  2. f
                    fatfudge RE: Dylan Aug 6, 2009 12:06 PM

                    Chef's Mart. there's one in Torrance, right at the corner of Artesia and Van Ness.

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