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Donkey Roll (驢打滾 or "Lu Da Gun") at Beijing Pie House

ipsedixit Jul 6, 2011 07:54 PM

Last night someone (yes, you, J.L.) posted that it was rumored Beijing Pie House had shuttered.

Not to leave a shuttered stone unturned, I called them up last night and confirmed that they indeed had not shuttered.

But I couldn't just call and leave it at that.

So I took the opportunity to order the Donkey Roll dessert or 驢打滾.

Why, you ask, did I order the Donkey Roll?

Well, because the Donkey Roll requires 24-hours notice. That's why.

So I put in my order last night and picked up it up this evening.

And, boy am I glad I did (thank you, J.L.)

Good stuff. Good eating. No. GLORIOUS eating.

What, you say, is a Donkey Roll?

Well, imagine a jelly-roll had a one night stand with a French crepe and they conveniently forgot to use protection.

There are variations, but Beijing Pie House makes theirs with glutinous rice flour, rolled out flat into a crepe-like sheet, then covered with a layer of sweet red bean paste, and then rolled just like you would construct a jelly-roll.

Result? Silky smooth and pillow-y soft. Like biting into cotton candy taffy made of red mochi paste, but without the sickly sweet feeling you get with state fair cotton candy bombs. It's very luscious without being heavy. Perfect denture dessert food, if you will

Give it a try sometime.

But remember ... plan ahead.

Beijing Pie House
846 East Garvey Ave, Monterey Park
(626) 288-3818

Beijing Pie House
846 E Garvey Ave, Monterey Park, CA 91755

  1. j
    JThur01 Jul 6, 2011 08:25 PM

    Sounds great! So how would I, with my toddler level of Mandarin, go about ordering this?

    11 Replies
    1. re: JThur01
      ipsedixit Jul 6, 2011 08:28 PM

      Drive to 846 East Garvey.

      Enter Beijing Pie House.

      Get menu.

      Point to the entry that says "Donkey Roll" under the DESSERT section.

      Nod when they say some gibberish about "tomorrow" and "wait" and "ok?"

      Leave name.

      Come back the next day.

      Pay, pick up order.

      Eat and enjoy.

      4 rolls to an order. $5.99.

      Beijing Pie House
      846 E Garvey Ave, Monterey Park, CA 91755

      1. re: ipsedixit
        JThur01 Jul 6, 2011 10:29 PM

        Sounds simple enough, but the problem is I'm a little over an hour away. Back to back days don't work well for me. Would "Lu Da Gun" work over the phone?

        1. re: JThur01
          raytamsgv Jul 7, 2011 10:41 AM

          Try this link:

          Then click on the words in the "Mandarin Pinyin" column.

          Let the reader beware: if you mispronounce it and order a "big green sword" by mistake, it's on you. :-)

          1. re: JThur01
            ipsedixit Jul 7, 2011 07:56 PM

            Yes, most definitely JT.

            Or just ask for someone who speaks English, there is one server who does, and ask for the Donkey Roll or item no. 1 on the dessert menu when you call.

            1. re: ipsedixit
              JThur01 Jul 8, 2011 12:49 PM

              Ray, ipsedixit. Thanks. I'd give it a try, but if they break out laughing, I'll know it was the "big green sword" : -)

              I once asked about a dish well enough that the waitress replied with a stream of Mandarin that I couldn't understand. But, at least my pronounciation was good enough to make her think that I was fluent.

              This Donkey Roll sounds great. Any idea how the name came to be?

              1. re: JThur01
                ipsedixit Jul 8, 2011 07:55 PM

                Apparently, the way it's made resembles a donkey rolling in the ground.

                1. re: JThur01
                  JThur01 Mar 23, 2012 08:05 PM

                  Tried calling in an order and was told they no longer have it!

                  1. re: JThur01
                    ipsedixit Mar 23, 2012 08:43 PM

                    That's what happen when you wait nearly a year to follow-up.

                    1. re: ipsedixit
                      JThur01 Mar 23, 2012 11:25 PM

                      I know, I know...I haven't made as many trips and it kept getting bumped for other projects. Besides, I finally had confidence in my pronounciation.

                      I guess it wasn't that popular or they'd have kept it? Or just too time intensive?

                      1. re: JThur01
                        ipsedixit Mar 24, 2012 01:10 PM

                        It wasn't popular.

                        1. re: ipsedixit
                          JThur01 Mar 25, 2012 10:50 AM

                          Obviously. The items I'm interested in, rarely fail to be the first dropped from menus.

        2. J.L. Jul 6, 2011 11:55 PM

          ipse, you owe me many mooncakes for this.

          Glad my mis-information was useful in helping you hit that donkey. roll.

          Now I, too, must go, post-haste.

          10 Replies
          1. re: J.L.
            ipsedixit Jul 7, 2011 07:57 PM

            I am forever in your debt.

            And even if I didn't owe you, you can have all the mooncakes stashed away in my closet that you can handle.

            1. re: ipsedixit
              J.L. Jul 7, 2011 09:51 PM

              Just went to Beijing Pie House tonight. Got the standard Beijing beef pie and took it to go. Washed it down with some chilled Hitachino Nest Ale. Awesome.

              Beijing Pie House
              846 E Garvey Ave, Monterey Park, CA 91755

              1. re: J.L.
                Tripeler Jul 7, 2011 09:54 PM

                Which Hitachino Nest Ale? The White Ale is most popular, though I don't think it would go well with the Bbeef Pie

                1. re: J.L.
                  ipsedixit Jul 7, 2011 09:56 PM

                  Did you tell them about the nasty rumors you were trying to spread?


                  1. re: ipsedixit
                    J.L. Jul 7, 2011 10:17 PM

                    Me: "How's business?"
                    Nice girl at the take-out counter: "生意好."

                    And so I stand corrected.

                    @Tripeler: White ale. It was either that or a glass of an already-opened bottle of Grgich Hills zin.

                    1. re: J.L.
                      K K Jul 7, 2011 10:38 PM

                      In another week, might be worth asking how's the donkey business....might be picking up after this.

                      1. re: K K
                        Bradbury Jul 7, 2011 11:14 PM

                        I think I've only heard this question asked on the Avenida Revolución ... how would you say it in Mandarin? :)

                        1. re: Bradbury
                          Tripeler Jul 8, 2011 06:50 PM

                          Couldn't you just do an impression of a donkey for the server?

                          1. re: Tripeler
                            J.L. Jul 8, 2011 07:11 PM

                            Donkey or ass... hehehe

                      2. re: J.L.
                        ipsedixit Jul 8, 2011 07:57 PM

                        生意好 ... but only thanks to your continued patronage.

              2. K K Jul 7, 2011 08:47 AM

                Nice find! You made me look this up....it has been historically a Qing dynasty dessert item in the royal palace, might even be part of the 333 courses of the "full Han banquet".

                Also for your viewing pleasure


                of an upscale department store basement dessert shop in Taiwan that sells these hand made donkey rolls and packages them very neatly, reminds me of high end wagashi. The latter part of the video is a very pricey Greek mullet roe.

                Here's another video of the making of it, somewhere in Taichung, Taiwan


                1 Reply
                1. re: K K
                  ipsedixit Jul 7, 2011 07:57 PM

                  I've actually been meaning to try this for a while. But it requires advanced notice and whenever I go to Beijing Pie House it's sort of on a whim, and there's no way I'm going back-to-back nights. Carb overload.

                2. l
                  Lau Jul 7, 2011 10:44 AM

                  damnnn it, this is why i wished i moved back to home to CA sometimes....that thing looks delicious, i just google'd it

                  1. Kris P Pata Jul 11, 2011 04:16 PM

                    "Well, imagine a jelly-roll had a one night stand with a French crepe and they conveniently forgot to use protection."

                    Thanks to this line, ipse, a mouthful of Thai-spiced cashew shrapnel just landed on my desktop monitor (and keyboard) like a poor stucco job. Friggin' hilarious.

                    1. Thi N. Jul 12, 2011 10:46 AM

                      "Well, imagine a jelly-roll had a one night stand with a French crepe and they conveniently forgot to use protection."

                      -1st Place, Chowhound Imagistic Majesty Awards 2010

                      Keep on tootin' brave soldier.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Thi N.
                        ipsedixit Jul 12, 2011 07:56 PM

                        At this point, I'm hoping it's more than just a one-night stand.

                        Praying they got married, joined the Mormon faith, and lived happily ever after ...

                        (And, Thi, don't you mean 2011?)

                      2. d
                        dharmathug Jul 13, 2011 12:11 AM

                        in other words, mochi

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: dharmathug
                          TonyC Jul 13, 2011 10:51 AM


                          1. re: dharmathug
                            ipsedixit Jul 13, 2011 09:42 PM

                            Yes, and the tartufo bianco di Alba is just another mushroom.

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