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best xiao long bao SD

koreansoup Dec 19, 2012 07:04 PM

On the search for good xiao long bao in SD.

Today I got my fix. At Chef Chins. No, not din tai fung; but it made me happy. I just wanted a place in the county that I can satisfy my craving.

I haven't been satisfied with the quality at dumpling inn. (Although, I've found their boiled pork and chive dumplings consistently good).

I've tried them at Dede's and even Pearl rolls them around for Dim Sum. I had given up on finding reasonable quality until today.

Now I have renewed energy to find the best place in the county to get my fix! I know a number of other places serve it but I haven't been to them all!

What's your favorite?

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  1. RhonelyInsanediego RE: koreansoup Dec 20, 2012 07:47 AM

    I know I sound like a broken record, but the only place I can seem to get enjoyable high quality chinese in SD, is Rendezvous. IMHO the Xiao Long Bao from there is the best in San Diego, full stop. A bit more spendy than most places at 6 for $9, but so worth it.

    "Steamed Pork Dumplings $9
    also known as xiao long bao or Shanghai style soup dumplings, ours are filled with pork and green onion; served in a bamboo steamer with a side of medium spice dumpling sauce: (6); fresh ginger, vinegar, and/or soup spoon available upon request"

    If desired, they also have hotter sauce on request.

    1. ipsedixit RE: koreansoup Dec 20, 2012 08:03 AM

      Looking for the best xiao long bao in SD is like trying to find a unicorn at the Del Mar Tracks.

      15 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit
        RhonelyInsanediego RE: ipsedixit Dec 20, 2012 08:53 AM

        Yeah, I know you poo poo all SD dumplings and most all SD Asian restaurants. And while I'm no expert, I do enjoy Chef Mark Sun's cooking. Several others do as well . . .from a previous thread on dumplings:

        <"Rodzilla Oct 16, 2012 11:41 PM

        This may shock, but one of the harshest dumpling critics I know told me Del Mar Rendezvous had the best in SD (above Dumpling Inn)">


        1. re: RhonelyInsanediego
          ipsedixit RE: RhonelyInsanediego Dec 20, 2012 09:56 AM

          Let's be clear and concise.

          In no way, and in no place, have I "poo poo[ed] ... all SD Asian restaurants."

          There are many outstanding sushi places, as well as some Indian restaurants in SD. Asian food (whatever that term may mean) may not be a strong point in SD, but there are certainly gems to be found. Chinese food, on the other hand, is a pure cul-de-sac.

          So let's not be sloppy.

          And to go back to Rendezvous, to say any "dumpling" in SD is the "best" is like picking out the tallest person at a midget convention.

          1. re: ipsedixit
            RhonelyInsanediego RE: ipsedixit Dec 20, 2012 10:08 AM

            Okay, okay, Chinese influenced Asian restaurants and I said "almost all". And as long as we're being concise . . . that would be, a Dwarf convention. ;-)

            1. re: RhonelyInsanediego
              ipsedixit RE: RhonelyInsanediego Dec 20, 2012 10:13 AM

              "Vertically challenged" ... right?

              Next time I'm up in LA, I'm going to bring you back a bag of frozen XLB from Dean Sin World to sample.

              Heck, next time I make some, I'll give you a buzz ...

              1. re: ipsedixit
                RhonelyInsanediego RE: ipsedixit Dec 20, 2012 10:23 AM

                Thanks! I completely understand your viewpoint, even if I don't completely agree, but I will defer to your greater experience and knowledge. I'll be in SF area starting Saturday. My brother lives there and has promised to take me to some fabulous Chinese dumpling spots. I'll report back.

                1. re: RhonelyInsanediego
                  ipsedixit RE: RhonelyInsanediego Dec 20, 2012 10:33 AM

                  Not to get totally off-topic, but in SF you should check out Shanghai House for XLB, and perhaps Dumpling King as a second option.

                  If you don't mind going south a bit to Redwood City, go to iDumpling and try the lamb dumplings which go really really well with the liang-pi (which are green bean noodles mixed with good amounts of garlic, rice wine vinegar, horseradish and chili flakes and tossed with sliced cucumbers)

                  1. re: ipsedixit
                    RhonelyInsanediego RE: ipsedixit Dec 20, 2012 12:28 PM

                    Now that sounds wicked good! Thanks for the tips. I'm sure my bro, who's as big, if not a bigger foodie than me, has a delicious plan for us.

            2. re: ipsedixit
              Gypsy Jan RE: ipsedixit Dec 20, 2012 01:01 PM

              Hi ipse,

              I am constantly impressed with your very wide ranging knowledge of restaurants in LA and San Diego.

              Do you recommend any Himalayan (Nepalese) restaurants in San Diego and, if you do, what are the dishes to order?

              Thanks, GJ

              1. re: Gypsy Jan
                DiningDiva RE: Gypsy Jan Dec 20, 2012 01:23 PM

                GJ, I'm not Ipse, but I think I can answer your question.

                Himalayan Cuisine/Bazaar in the shopping center at El Cajon Blvd and Baltimore Dr. in La Mesa has a loose consensus "best of genre"


                1. re: DiningDiva
                  Gypsy Jan RE: DiningDiva Dec 20, 2012 01:39 PM

                  Thanks, DD!

                  1. re: Gypsy Jan
                    ipsedixit RE: Gypsy Jan Dec 20, 2012 03:04 PM

                    Sounds like DD gave you a good lead.

                    I'm not really familiar with Nepalese restaurants in SD, but if you just want some down and dirty, no fuss, Indian food, I like Sher E Punjab and Surati Farsan Mart. Punjabi Tandoor is ok too, but can be a bit inconsistent.

                    There's a great Nepalese restaurant in SF that makes the best Momos. I could easily make a meal out of plate of Momos and a bowl of chicken Jhol. Hmm, maybe a roadtrip is called for ..

                    1. re: ipsedixit
                      Gypsy Jan RE: ipsedixit Dec 20, 2012 03:23 PM

                      Thanks ipse, I love Indian/Asia food, always looking for more authentic experiences.

                      Years ago, an Indian business acquaintance treated hubby and myself to a fantastic dinner at their palatial home in Artesia. She was a strict vegetarian, but made meat based dishes based on instinct (the smell of cooked meat made her ill). I still remember the vibrant tastes of this exceptional meal.

                      ALso a road trip sounds great!


                      1. re: Gypsy Jan
                        ipsedixit RE: Gypsy Jan Dec 20, 2012 03:25 PM

                        Ok, I'll drive, and you can ride shotgun.

                        1. re: Gypsy Jan
                          Gypsy Jan RE: Gypsy Jan Dec 20, 2012 04:09 PM

                          Heh! I always call shotgun :)

                          (Also, I don't play with the radio/cd player or whatever. I don't whine about stopping for restrooms, I don't complain about route and I can go for hours without talking about anything at all.

                  2. re: Gypsy Jan
                    sandiegomike RE: Gypsy Jan Dec 24, 2012 03:42 PM

                    Taste of the Himalayas in Point Loma on Midway near Rosecrans is pretty good: (tasteofthehimalayassandiego.com/). I tried their goat curry lunch special recently and it was excellent. Their lamb has also been consistently good. I also liked the Bhera Ko Saag is cubes of lamb cooked with spinach in Nepalese spices. The naan is made to order and also excellent. They describe their food as "Nepalese and Northern Indian" which covers quite a bit of territory but they meals we have had there look and taste a lot like the food we ate in Kathmandu.

            3. k
              koreansoup RE: koreansoup Dec 23, 2012 12:13 AM

              Thanks Rhonelylnsandiego. I had not tried Rendezvous since I thought they would be the same as the dumpling inn (i.e. "from the creator of Dumpling Inn."). I'll give it a shot since it's closer to where I live anyhow.

              Anyone else with some non-jaded opinions?

              2 Replies
              1. re: koreansoup
                pickypicky RE: koreansoup Dec 23, 2012 09:16 AM

                not sure this will stay up, but Husband and I just made our own. AMAZING. One batch, our dough. One batch, wrappers bought at Phuong Trang (99 Ranch parking lot too crazy that day.) Both batches were delicious, with different textures in the wrapper. Some steamed, some fried. Surprisingly easy. And for the first time in my life I got to eat all the dumplings I wanted. Fun to do for the two of us if you have a willing partner. The boughten wrappers made it very easy.

                1. re: koreansoup
                  karaethon RE: koreansoup Dec 26, 2012 09:19 AM

                  It's not the same as dumpling inn, definitely better.

                  The "creator of Dumpling Inn" is retired and neither of the restaurants really reflects his vision anymore. Rendezvous is run by the newphew of the original chef and is probably closest to what Dumpling Inn used to be.

                2. f
                  foodieinsd RE: koreansoup Jan 1, 2013 05:30 PM

                  I like the xiao long bao at Red Moon Noodle House. They aren't on the menu, but you can ask for them. I liked Dumpling Inn's when they were really the only ones offering it, but I think the ones from Red Moon are nicer.

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