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Giant XLB's reviewed by J.Gold - Wang Xing Ji

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  • ns1 Apr 20, 2012 12:18 PM
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Somebody asked for it a few months back, and now J. Gold has written about it.

"Eventually you will notice the gaily colored boba straw served alongside the monster crab and pork bun, sharpened at the bottom to facilitate puncture, and at once, its purpose will be clear. You will feel slightly foolish, slightly vampiric, but you will sip hot crab juice through a straw, as if it were a milkshake and you were a teenager at Pop's Chocklit Shop. It is the only way. Your shirt and your dignity will be spared."

http://www.latimes.com/features/food/...

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  1. What a coincidence! I just walked by a coworker, who asked me what I was doing for lunch, and mentioned eyeing these delicious dumplings. When I asked what she was looking at, she showed me the front page of latimes.com. Unfortunately, we work too far to run over to San Gabriel for lunch.

    1. Referring to the nanxiang hot juice bombs as "xiao long bao" is a bit like the "jumbo shrimp" oxymoron.

      I think I'll refer to them from now as "da long bao" (DLB) :)

      Mr Taster

      6 Replies
      1. re: Mr Taster

        A restaurant could go really meta and make a DLB (as you say) skin that contains multiple XLB inside it...

        1. re: PeterCC

          Whoa, man. That's deep. Like, totally Da deep.

          Mr Taster

          1. re: Mr Taster

            It'd be like a cluster-LB.

        2. re: Mr Taster

          Taster, you should copyright that phrase. :-)

          1. re: raytamsgv

            Da Long Bao™ (DLB™)

            A Registered Trademark of TasterCorp, Inc.

            Look soon for Niu Rou Mian Juan Bing™! All the fun & flavor of your favorite beef noodle soup, wrapped up in a beef roll!

            Mr Taster

            1. re: Mr Taster

              Ooh, ooh, can I get in on this? I've got a great idea for Zha Cai Rou Si Nai Cha... Hmm maybe not.

        3. Here are the two earlier threads about Wang Xing Ji:

          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/828538
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/828965

          26 Replies
          1. re: Peripatetic

            My feelings are hurt, not only those two threads, but...

            March 12:
            http://blogs.laweekly.com/squidink/20...

            And I mentioned it here on March 13:
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/744393

            1. re: JThur01

              The funny thing about this place: even after reading everything everyone's written about it (including JG and JThur01), I still can't figure out whether it's worth trying!

              The impression I'm left with is that it's an interesting place to try once, but that's about it.

              1. re: Peripatetic

                It's definitely worth checking out. I actually like it, and I got the impression JG does too, but YMMV. Some I know simply do not like the sweetness in with the pork. When I did my visits, they hadn't yet added unsweetened, non-Wuxi style. Or, the chilis in with the green beans for that matter. I had those on my last visit.

                So, is it worth trying?...yes. You might find it worth return visits, you might not. To me, it's nice having a slight twist in the usual dumpling house fare. But, with the LAT and JG effect combined, you'll want to wait a few weeks. Yesterday at lunch, there were more than a dozen people standing around waiting outside...and about a dozen waiting 15 minutes before re-opening for dinner.

                1. re: JThur01

                  Thanks, good advice. I guess more places in the SGV will get "flash slammed" now that JG writes for the LAT.

                  FWIW, I like pork + sweet, so no problem there.

                  1. re: Peripatetic

                    Big time. We've noted the effect when some place made The Find in the LAT, imagine adding JG to that. Correction: I went back and looked at my photo, there were 19 people waiting for Wang Xing Ji to open for dinner Saturday. Math never was my strong point.

                  2. re: JThur01

                    I was there, too! didn't realize that the LA Times had just written it up. there never used to be a wait, but on sunday they were completely slammed.

                    1. re: Bert

                      The weekends here are now insane.

                      It's SanGabe's very own DTF. And like Peripatetic, I still don't "get" this place. So it's greasy MSG-loaded (I assume by sweetened, they mean MSG?) aspic inside a bao that you don't eat? I mean, I've had this elsewhere, and never understood the appeal. Too much of a gross/good thing.

                      1. re: TonyC

                        Between the JGold effect at WXJ + Little Sheep, I can only imagine. Add in Shanghai No. 1 just up Valley and it's serious congestion time. Personally, I don't "get" the big bao either, which is probably why I buried it in my piece (though I know some are very interested in it). As far as WXJ's Wuxi-style XLB, I liked them, but if I'm truly craving XLB, I still head to Dean Sin World.

                        1. re: JThur01

                          I'm gonna go there if only to try their cold smoked fish.

                          1. re: JThur01

                            Regardless of their size, the XLB at Wang Xing Ji just don't taste very good.

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              ipse, where's your go to place for XLB?

                              I'm still interested in hearing from people trying it out for the first time. This is one of those places where the dividing line is going to clearly be like/dislike.

                              1. re: JThur01

                                Either Dean Sin World or Jin Jian.

                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                  +1 for Jin Jian.

                                  1. re: raytamsgv

                                    ray, you and I are old school ...

                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                      +1 for both. Good choices.

                    2. re: Peripatetic

                      After all the chatter I've been reading, I went ahead and checked it out today.

                      My diagnosis: DEFINITELY worth checking out. Both interesting and tasty. I was pleased.

                      We ate: regular XLB; the huge XLB; scallion pancakes, pork belly rice, cold cucumber in garlic sauce, and cold fish.

                      All good. Fish and the XLB were definite favorites. We even ordered seconds of the regular size XLB. NOTE: more people there were eating the cold fish than the XLB! I guess it's a specialty there; it was quite good.

                      Next time around, gonna try the sesame noodles and the salt and pepper puffball things. So, that's saying I'd surely return, and I do recommend it.

                      1. re: EricDC

                        Does the cold fish have pork in it?

                        Please also describe the puff balls further.

                    3. re: JThur01

                      Jim, I still like you better than Gold. FWIW.

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        Agree, I'll take JThur01 over purple prose any day. Feel better?

                        1. re: Peripatetic

                          Yes, much... Thanks ipse, Peripatetic, I appreciate it.

                        2. re: ipsedixit

                          Stupid question guys, are there are just fish and crab (no pork) or just fish (no pork) dumplings dumplings, xlb, etc here?

                          Thanks a bunch.

                          1. re: kevin

                            Sweetened pork is the Wuxi specialty. XLB come in pork & crab, pork & shrimp, pork, unsweetened pork, and fish (which is unsweetened). The giant XLB (da long bao - brilliant!) is pork & crab only and listed as unsweetened.

                            1. re: JThur01

                              That Wuxi-style pork is usually too sweet for my taste buds.

                              1. re: JThur01

                                Ok, My bad. I guess every item has pork in it.

                                1. re: JThur01

                                  damn. glad i checked ch. the latimes made it sound like there was a pork version of the giant xlb/dlb. well, guess i'm out til someone mentions another place.

                                2. re: kevin

                                  Someone posted legible photos of the menu on Yelp:

                                  http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/o3Rh-z...

                          2. Dang. Anyone know if there's any way to get thru the pay wall on an iPhone or other smart phoned

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: kevin

                              For the La Times article? I just loaded it on my iPhone and it didn't prompt me or block the article.

                              1. re: PeterCC

                                Yea. It did for me.

                                1. re: kevin

                                  I tried to find a mobile link for it, but I couldn't browse to the article on the mobile version of the site. Sorry.

                                  1. re: PeterCC

                                    Thanks. No worries.

                                    1. re: kevin

                                      Kevin, clear your cookies.

                                      1. re: Peripatetic

                                        Thnks. it worked for my comp, but i have no clue how to do it for the iphone.

                                        Thanks again.

                                        1. re: kevin

                                          Settings, Safari, Clear Cookies and Data.

                                          1. re: PeterCC

                                            Thanks a bunch, Peter. And thanks to you and JL for introducing me to shunji's my taste buds really liked it (though obviously my pocket book did not).

                            2. im totally hitting this up today