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Whoever was looking for Momofuku's Pork Belly Buns, you can find them at Dip's Grill

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Almost an exact gosh-darn replica of Momofuku's creation, except you get butter lettuce rather than pickled cucumbers.

(Chandavkl, you're slipping. Why have you not eaten here yet?!?)

www.dipsgrill.com

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Dip's Grill
1412 E Valley Blvd, Alhambra, CA 91801

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  1. I must be blind. I drove by there Monday and this morning and didn't notice anything new.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Chandavkl

      That's because it's inside the bowling center.

      1. re: Chandavkl

        Will the sun rise [gulp] from the west tomorrow morning?

      2. Really, I've had Momofuku Pork buns many a time I look forward to this.

        Nice find.....

        1. I ate there a while back, its alright.

          The buns are decently priced and I have not had Momofuku to compare them but I wouldn't go out of my way to eat here.

          11 Replies
          1. re: Johnny L

            I've had Momofuku's pork buns and I wouldn't go out of the way to eat them again. They're okay and darned popular but not one of Chang's strongest dishes IMO. Some of his more asian dishes are meh, I've had better versions of this at a legitimate Asian restaurant for much less...others are wow, this man is genius. For me, the pork buns were more meh.

            1. re: Porthos

              Agree. Too fatty.

              1. re: Porthos

                Portos can you give us the place that has the great Pork Buns.

                I'm into better and cheaper. Thanks

                1. re: burntwater

                  Basically you're looking for "gua bao".

                  Here's a thread from the past. Ipse and Chand will be the best to give you updates on the mentioned places.

                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/480862

                  1. re: Porthos

                    I've been here for lunch to try the pork belly bun because everyone raved about it on Yelp, only to discover that it was just a gua bao. I guess I should have put 2 and 2 together, but it was rather brilliant of them to rename it so people who aren't familiar with gua bao would get sucked in.

                    1. re: Porthos

                      Portos, there's a few mentioned in that post which one is your favorite?

                      Thanks !

                      1. re: burntwater

                        Honestly, I don't crave gua bao. The last time I had one was many years ago at some random Taiwanese place either in SGV or Rowland heights. I'd defer to Ipse and Chand on this one.

                        1. re: Porthos

                          Yi Mei was my go to before the fire. Now, if you want guo bao, I would direct you to Si Hai (aka Four Sea).

                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            I second that. I'm so glad Si Hai opened to fill Yi Mei's void

                            1. re: foodarch

                              Yi Mei opened up in the Shun Fat plaza as Huge Tree.

                      2. re: Porthos

                        We have "ahem" a Chairman Bao truck in San Francisco (basically in a heated contest with NY's Baohaus run by Taiwanese American) that offers an overpriced Americanized gua bao with wacky looking red sauce. Has some budding entrepreneur taken this idea to LA on wheels yet?

                        Also have you been to Baohaus in NY? Curious how they all stack up in the world of gua baoness.

                2. I have been very curious about Dip's Grill. Besides the pork belly buns, did you try anything else here that was good?

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                  Dip's Grill
                  1412 E Valley Blvd, Alhambra, CA 91801

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Ernie

                    Everything I had was cold and reheated, and leftover from someone else's meal, so I didn't really feel right to give a review on the food, except to point out that Pork Bun Sandwiches on the menu.

                    But as to what else I tried, aside from the Pork Buns (reheated), was the Taiwanese style stick rice and some leftover chicken from the hainan chicken rice. I can't say any of it was too memorable. But again, these were all leftovers and reheated. So take it for what it's worth, probably not much.

                    1. re: Ernie

                      I had the curry which I thought was pretty good. I got it with a toasted bread and they heat it up so it was soft.

                    2. Hi ipse,

                      Nice find, thanks! :) So reading through all the responses, is the famous Momofuku Pork Belly Bun basically their take on a Taiwanese Gua Bao?(!) (~_~)

                      14 Replies
                      1. re: exilekiss

                        Yes, but add about $18 dollars ... or more, depending on where you get your Gua Bao fix.

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          Maybe if he did some cilantro/scallions tossed in a vinaigrette or added some chopped hazelnuts or toasted sesame seeds or something. Maybe even if he deep fried the pork belly to make it crispy, but this was pretty much as you said, standard gua bao but too fatty.

                          1. re: Porthos

                            Not sure the trendy NYC "foodie-rati" and Momo-groupies know any better, or care.

                            1. re: Porthos

                              "standard gua bao but too fatty"

                              Does...not...compute... :D

                              At the gua bao places in Taiwan, you order the type of meat you want. The lean gua bao just doesn't taste the same...

                              1. re: huaqiao

                                I think pork belly is one of those things that you either like or don't. Even sliced thin and grilled Korean BBQ style I find it a bit too fatty for me.

                                Sort of reminds me a bit of oxtail, pork knuckle, chicken feet, etc. -- you either like the texture, or you don't.

                                1. re: huaqiao

                                  Think more like slab of bacon/fat. It's not the pork belly you're thinking of in your typical braised pork belly appetizer that you see in so many restaurants these days with ~50% meat. This is old school slab of braised fat with some streaks of meat. Too rich for my palate and aging heart. I'd prefer somewhere between 50-50 to 80-20 meat to fat ratio. They're also a bit heavy handed on the sauce.

                                  1. re: huaqiao

                                    On top of that the excellent gua bao specialist places over there add shaved peanuts, and suan tsai/pickled mustard greens to help cut that fatty feeling. Then one would get something like "four gods" herbal soup (the Cantonese parallel is "ching bo leung") that acts as a stomach refresher and cleanser (also to help wash away the guilt, but the funny thing is that the soup contains barley and pork intestines), the same reason why Cantonese stewed brisket is always consumed with daikon.

                                    Of course it doesn't help the cause that the average GB in TW runs about a buck to a buck fiddy, buns made in house, and even the fatty cuts of pork don't taste that filling.

                                    Using plain soy sauce and bare bones seasoning to stew pork, and/or slather soy sauce paste (or worse, hoisin sauce) is just bad practice.

                                    1. re: K K

                                      I didn't get gua bao during my trip to Taiwan a couple years (sad I know), but the rendition at Four Seas in San Gabriel is pretty darn good IMO on an absolute level. Not sure if the bun is made in house, but it has the requisite stewed pork belly, pickled mustard greens, and peanut bits for that great tender, crunchy, salty, sour and sweet combo.

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                                      Four Sea Restaurant
                                      2020 S Hacienda Blvd, Hacienda Heights, CA 91745

                                      1. re: taiwanesesmalleats

                                        Four Seas does make probably the best and most authentic gua bao in SGV. The only problem I have (and it's not necessarily indicative of Four Seas) is that sometimes it's not warm b/c its pre-packaged. Cold pork fat is not a good thing, all things considered.

                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                          Is the Four Sea at Hacienda Heights better (or about the same) as the SGV location, not just for the gua bao but for the breakfast fare?

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                                          Four Sea Restaurant
                                          2020 S Hacienda Blvd, Hacienda Heights, CA 91745

                                          1. re: K K

                                            Same owners, so the only variability will be when you go (i.e, whether something was prepared fresh that moment, or left to sit around a bit, although with the crowds during the mornings turnover is so high that's usually not a problem).

                                            1. re: K K

                                              I've eaten at both multiple times. I think (based on the stuff I've tried, at least), that they're pretty much the same in terms of quality. And as ipsed says, the owners are the same.

                                            2. re: ipsedixit

                                              I've noticed that if order enough items at once, they'll pull a fresher one from the kitchen when they bring you everything. A warm gua bao makes for a happy stomach and tongue.

                                              1. re: taiwanesesmalleats

                                                That sounds great, I look forward to checking the HH location out hopefully next month.

                                                In the meantime, here's a neat clip of 50 year old "Stone's House" gua bao at Tong Hua Night Market (Taipei), and a comparison with its relatively newer/junior competitor at Gong Guan, "Blue's House". Very labor intensive process, and these guys specialize in it (and do it so well).

                                                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzI8z_...

                                2. Chandavkl slipping? Heck, I wrote of the upcoming pork belly buns and posted it here on June 15, in a thread titled:

                                  SGV - Valley Blvd. update: NT Dumpling House, Dip's Grill, 101 Hot Pot

                                  (I'd link to it, but...)

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                                  Dip's Grill
                                  1412 E Valley Blvd, Alhambra, CA 91801

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: JThur01

                                    Oh, and I beat Jonathan Gold, who wrote about Dip's just this month.

                                    1. re: JThur01

                                      Hahaha. Props to anyone that can beat Jonathan Gold at anything

                                    2. re: JThur01

                                      "(I'd link to it, but...)"

                                      But, what? http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7145...

                                      1. re: Servorg

                                        But, I was having some issues trying to link, and now you've done it for me. Thanks Servorg.

                                        It was yet to open when I went by, despite the sign proclaiming otherwise, but I noted the pork belly "sliders" on the menu in the window. And I could definitely tell the menu leaned to Vietnamese. Basically, a Viet version of the Taiwanese snack places more common to that part of the SGV.

                                        1. re: JThur01

                                          I thought you were being "shy" ;-D>

                                          1. re: Servorg

                                            Well, that too :-)

                                            Hey, it's rare that I beat Chandavkl to posting on any new place in the SGV, so I deserve credit on the unique occurrence :-)

                                      2. re: JThur01

                                        I'm ashamed to say I never saw your original post. Was in the Bay Area that week tracking down new restaurants up there (oh, and working, too) and I guess I didn't do a complete job of catching up.

                                      3. So I finally got around to trying Dip's Grill this week and enjoyed it. It is a good neighborhood spot to grab a beer and some tapas-like Vietnamese inspired plates for sharing. We tried their special pork sliders with sweet potato fries, beef skewers, and pork chop plate. All were solid and a good value. I didn't get a chance to try those pork belly sliders, but will definitely come back to explore the menu more

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                                        Dip's Grill
                                        1412 E Valley Blvd, Alhambra, CA 91801