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The Current State of Dumplings in SGV

Aside from 101 and Luscious, what is the current state of dumplings in the San Gabriel area?

Dumpling Master is gone, and I thought I remembered reading a downhill report on 10053. Is Kingburg still relevant? Never did get around to trying them.

Any and all suggestions welcome.

Thanks 'hounds

Mr Taster

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  1. Current favorites are Luscious and Dean Sin World. Tried 10053 once after the alleged ownership change and found it lacking.

    3 Replies
      1. re: echoparkdirt

        Just visited Dean Sin World. The potstickers and the XLB were wonderful.

        -----
        Dean Sin World
        306 N Garfield Ave # 2, Monterey Park, CA

        1. re: echoparkdirt

          dropped by yesterday, xlb were perfect.

    1. The other day I was thinking I'm getting tired of the dumpling scene.
      Would they kick me out of DTF for not ordering steamed pork dumplings?

      9 Replies
      1. re: monku

        I go to DTF routinely to pick up either just chicken soup or their beef soup to go. Comes nicely packaged in individual portions so that they go easily into the freezer for use later on in either as part of stock (it's too rich on its own), or quick noodle soup for dinner.

        Rarely do I ever order their XLB or dumplings. Just find them too fey.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          I ordered the chicken soup once and that was enough.
          I didn't understand it.

            1. re: monku

              Really? I find the soups at DTF great.

              1. re: A5 KOBE

                I've only tried the chicken soup once at the DTF in Arcadia and found the broth to be thin and pallid. Tried the same soup at the original branch in Taipei and it was astoundingly rich, beautiful and complex. (In Taipei it was a smaller serving in a tall ramekin-- but because of the high laowai clientele rate, they ask first if you want the chicken feet).

                Mr Taster

                1. re: Mr Taster

                  I had the same reaction to the chicken soup at the DTF in Arcadia. Thin and pallid is a good description.

                  1. re: choctastic

                    The tragedy is that it's really not hard to make a great, deeply flavored chicken stock. The secret is a lot more chicken and a lot less water. The rest more or less takes care of itself.

                    Clearly the Arcadia branch isn't willing to drop the right amount of money on chicken to make a silky, richly flavored soup. Perhaps it's simply economics, as the Taipei branch charges more or less the same relative price as they do in Arcadia, but one's dollar goes a lot further in Taiwan than in Los Angeles.

                    Mr Taster

          1. re: monku

            dropped by DTF today

            can someone tell me what steamed dumplings w/ soup is? (20 pc, served weekends only)

            1. re: ns1

              It's, uh, small dumplings in soup. They only make a certain amount per day and when they first opened it was a major attraction. However, the buzz seems to have shifted to the XLB subsequently.

          2. Isn't there a Dumpling Master in Hacienda Heights as well or is that an unrelated place?

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            Dumpling Master Restaurant
            2124 S Hacienda Blvd, Hacienda Heights, CA 91745

            8 Replies
            1. re: sku

              There is a Dumpling Master in HH. Whether they are "related" in any way, I'm not sure.

              I'm a fan of both Dumpling House. The Dumpling House in Arcadia has great xlb. The Dumpling House in Temple City has great fried, steamed and boiled dumplings.

              DTF is overpriced, overrated and not worth the wait.

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              Dumpling House Restaurant
              5612 Rosemead Blvd, Temple City, CA 91780

              1. re: reality check

                "There is a Dumpling Master in HH. Whether they are "related" in any way, I'm not sure."
                ______________

                They are not.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  I did like the Dumpling Master in Hacienda Heights better than the Dumpling Master.

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                  Dumpling Master Restaurant
                  2124 S Hacienda Blvd, Hacienda Heights, CA 91745

                  1. re: reality check

                    In the mid 80s and 90s the Monterey Park Dumpilng Master was the supposed to "da bomb" when it came to pan fried dumplings. Legend had it that folks would drive down from SF just to partake of all that greasy, porky goodness.

                    Since mid 90s, it's been one precipitous decline after another for that place.

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      I don't doubt it. There's still a relative shortage of dumpling sources in the Bay Area compared to all of the choices we have down here.

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        I never realized the power of a positive LA Times review until I saw the results the week they reviewed the Dumpling Master 20+ years ago. The place was jammed with Lofan on a weekday lunch. Patronized the place on and off over the years and the food was always the same, didn't notice it ever going downhill. Maybe a better location and making the place brighter would have helped in the long run. You have to admit 20+ years with that location isn't shabby.

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                        Dumpling Master Restaurant
                        423 N Atlantic Blvd, Monterey Park, CA 91754

                        1. re: monku

                          20+ years at ANY location isn't shabby.

                      2. re: reality check

                        Gather Dumpling Master in Hacienda Heights is now being sold.
                        Who knows what will take its place?

                2. Qingdao Bread Food is still great. The Mama's Lu branches are still good, too.

                  -----
                  Qingdao Bread Food
                  301 N Garfield Ave, Monterey Park, CA

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: Chandavkl

                    Mama's Lu and Luscious are my two places for dumplings nowadays.

                    1. re: Chandavkl

                      they have XLB here?

                      not on the menu, when we asked the server what we got instead was pork buns. language barrier definitely not to our favor.

                      1. re: ns1

                        Just boazi (buns), joazi (dumplings), and lu bao (Chinese calzones?) at Qingdao.

                        What made you think they had XLB?

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          ipse, so the "Fried Stuffed Dumplings" at Qingdao are actually lu bao? The owner called them guotie and they were referred to in the potstickers thread:

                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/793890

                          http://biggestmenu.com/rdr/CA/Montere...

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              Thanks for the clarification, and your previous posts on the subject. There's certainly enough confusion over terminology on these. To me, they were obviously a bao of some sort.

                              1. re: JThur01

                                Are you certain it wasn't a dumpling? :-)

                                1. re: raytamsgv

                                  Well, it was a "dumpling" on the menu at Qingdao Bread Food :-) To confuse matters, the owner told me it was "guotie"

                                  ...or, I could say, it didn't have soup in it, so it wasn't a dumpling :-)

                    2. We had some nice ones at JTYH a couple of weeks ago, and the leftovers were great steamed to accompany scrambled eggs for breakfast. Their thing is supposed to be noodles, really, but I was minimally impressed with the hand-cut ones (though the lamb was delicious) and I did NOT think much of the cat's ears - much too chewy for my taste. But the fried pork dumplings were insanely good.

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                      JTYH Restaurant
                      9425 Valley Blvd, Rosemead, CA 91770

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Will Owen

                        I really like their fried dumplings. They fry to a very thick crust which I love, but others don't. I think it was ExileKiss who found them too chewy but they are perfect for me.

                      2. What type of dumplings are you asking about? It's a bit of a broad topic.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: raytamsgv

                          I figured that one could infer by context of the restaurants I'd excluded in my initial post that we're talking about northern guotie/shweijiao/jianjiao and not Cantonese style hargow/shumai etc. and not talking about buns like baozi/xiaolongbao/xinjianbao etc.

                          Ah but as for where my friends and I wound up last night, the pull of the beef roll proved to be too great and we ended up at 101 Noodle Express for the standard pumpkin shrimp loveliness and the mysterious wild vegetable with pork. Mr Veggie Laowai in our group was delighted with the veggie guotie though I found the veggie-only filling too thin and weak in contrast to 101's heavy hand on the skins. (nb I know many here don't prefer them, but I don't mind the occasional thick skinned dumpling, so 101's are just fine with me).

                          I am rather surprised however that there hasn't been too much churning on the dumpling scene as of late (aside from the downhill alert for 10053-- as ipse said DM was on its way down a long time ago.). Dean Sin World and Luscious (my fave... which was, sadly, closed yesterday). We did try Qingdao Bread Food once and really liked it.... man, even without considering the food, when you walk in the door its like you've stepped through xiao ding dang's magical door into another world... the place FEELS like China, from the smell of the place to the baby crib in the corner to the spiky crewcut, tshirt-wearing chef/owner, to the sticky tables and the homemade signs. Only thing missing is the squat toilet (some things are best left in China). I do need to add QDBF to my regular rotation. (oh and Dean Sin World too... so I don't make silly mistakes like this one again http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7286... :) Despite all the good buzz, I've only managed to get there twice.

                          Mr Taster

                          -----
                          101 Noodle Express
                          1408 E Valley Blvd, Alhambra, CA 91801

                          Qingdao Bread Food
                          301 N Garfield Ave, Monterey Park, CA

                          Dean Sin World
                          306 N Garfield Ave # 2, Monterey Park, CA

                          1. re: Mr Taster

                            I love 101's dumplings, as much as the beef roll - the thick skin is a plus in my book.

                          2. re: raytamsgv

                            Current faves, raytamsgv? I'm on pins & needles!

                            Mr Taster

                            1. re: Mr Taster

                              Sorry, but I'm not much of a dumpling expert unlike some of our fellow hounds. I like just about any dumpling at Luscious Dumpling, fish dumplings at Dumpling House in Temple City, and shrimp and pumpkin dumplings in 101 Noodle Express. The last item is unusual because I don't like shrimp.

                              While the fish dumplings are decent at Dumpling House, I like them more when we order them custom made (we ask for no MSG and less salt). They go for about $1 for two. They're great for home consumption--very handy when friends drop by.

                              -----
                              Luscious Dumplings
                              704 W Las Tunas Dr, San Gabriel, CA 91776

                              101 Noodle Express
                              1408 E Valley Blvd, Alhambra, CA 91801

                            2. So after going to DTF on Saturday me and the GF decided to stop by Dean Sin World on Sunday.

                              This will be a comparison of the XLB ONLY

                              1. the XLB at DTF are better. Not by a lot, but they are better. The skin is more delicate, I find the soup/meat about equal.
                              2. The XLB are 50% more expensive @ DTF vs DSW (7.75 vs 5.30)
                              3. 30 minute wait at DTF vs 0 minute wait @ DSW
                              4. Every single XLB from DTF came out perfect. About 8/20 from DSW came somewhat "broken" (ie some soup left, but definitely broken)

                              Overall verdict - given unlimited time and money DTF is better. But you can get 90% of DTF for 75% of the price w/o a wait @ DSW.

                              FWIW, me and the GF will start going to DSW to get our fix.

                              -----
                              Dean Sin World
                              306 N Garfield Ave # 2, Monterey Park, CA

                              10 Replies
                              1. re: ns1

                                1. the XLB at DTF are better. Not by a lot, but they are better. The skin is more delicate, I find the soup/meat about equal.
                                __________________________

                                I will not quibble with you, ns1, on what makes a better XLB for you personally. Because, after all, you know best what you like.

                                But I will just say that there those in the world that actually prefer a more substantial skin for the XLB than the fey creations offered up by DTF.

                                1. re: ns1

                                  Keep in mind that a lot of places (including Shanghai places) do not make their own XLB.

                                  1. re: will47

                                    Both Dean Sin World and DTF make their own XLB.

                                    In fact, Dean Sin World makes XLB for alot of other places.

                                    -----
                                    Dean Sin World
                                    306 N Garfield Ave # 2, Monterey Park, CA

                                    1. re: will47

                                      Can we point at ones, by name, that don't?

                                      1. re: ns1

                                        Dean Sin World supplies XLB to SinBaLa, Mama's Lu, Giang Nan, Mama's Kitchen, Shanghai Bamboo House, and probably several others that I am not aware of.

                                        And just about every Taiwanese tea house or boba joint that offers up XLB on their menu is outsourcing it from somewhere. Where? Some probably from Dean Sin World. Others? Not sure.

                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                          Then since I've been to the source, should I just skip Mama Lu's/Mama's Kitchen? Those were the only 2 on my XLB list.

                                          1. re: ns1

                                            Yes, if you are going there just for XLB. Keep in mind, that Mama's Lu and Mama's Kitchen offers other things besides XLB.

                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                              I'm gonna do an epic XLB crawl (probably half-assed in ExileKiss' eyes, but epic to the rest of us!)

                                          2. re: ipsedixit

                                            Do you know if they supply the vegetable dumplings at SinBaLa? If so, I highly DO NOT recommend those!

                                    2. The last 3 times I went to DTF, the tops of the XLB were dry and hard. They came to the table that way. Yes, the skins at Dean Sin World are not as thin but they were completely tender and the soup and filling were just as flavorful.

                                      -----
                                      Dean Sin World
                                      306 N Garfield Ave # 2, Monterey Park, CA

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Fru

                                        I prefer the XLB at Dumpling House, just up the street from DTF.

                                      2. Continued our dumpling crawl today. Hit up dumpling house (arcadia), mei long village, and qingdao bread food.

                                        Dumpling House, service was terrible. Young waiters that just don't give a shit. Dumplings were pretty good, only 1 popped out of 10. Fairly busy.

                                        Mei Long Village, thicker chewier skin vs dumpling house. Less soup, but more unctuous. 1 "kind of" popped out of 10. Felt super dead, like I was being transported back to the 80's.

                                        Qingdao bread food, tried to order XLB. Didn't find it on the menu. I inferred from the above that they would have XLB here. We tried to ask the server, he pointed us to an item, it turned out to be steamed pork buns. I might go back next time with someone who actually speaks mandarin, or just order the pan fried stuff because the joint DOES look hella legit.

                                        Anyway, I'd still say DSW would be my preferred dumpling shop.

                                        -----
                                        Dumpling House Restaurant
                                        5612 Rosemead Blvd, Temple City, CA 91780

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

                                        4 Replies
                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                            clearly my bad then lol

                                            I need to L2R

                                            1. re: ns1

                                              Yes, Qingdao is known for dumplings not soup....umm, XLB :-)

                                              Love the description of Qingdao by Mr. Taster, and the description and experience at DSW mentioned in another thread. Wish I spoke well enough to be able to ask Mrs. Lu who all she provides XLB to.

                                              1. re: JThur01

                                                First time visit for lunch today. In addition to the dumpling we tried the beef noodle and the seafood noodle soups. Stick with the dumplings and steamed buns.

                                                They also have frozen dumplings, 50 per bag, $15-$20 depending on fillings.

                                        1. Please note it is the Dumpling Master in Montrey Park that is closed not the Dumpling Master in Hacienda Hieights

                                          -----
                                          Dumpling Master Restaurant
                                          423 N Atlantic Blvd, Monterey Park, CA 91754