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Truffle XLB Are Almost Here!

I didn't realize Din Tai Fung Glendale is opening so soon.

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

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    1. re: PeterCC

      Truffles in an XLB ????? I guess some of us are playing hookey on Monday.

      1. re: kevin

        Nah, I'll wait for the lines to... wait, the lines still haven't really died down from the two Arcadia locations... d'oh!

        1. re: PeterCC

          They've turned that strip mall into Disneyland (annex included).

    2. I have been to DTF in Taipei, Shanghai, Beijing and Arcadia. I have had their dumplings on EVA Air. But I have never seen or heard of it with Truffles, "for VIPs" before this.

      15 Replies
      1. re: Ciao Bob

        I haven't seen them, but then again I haven't asked for them either haha

        Will check next time I go to asia

        1. re: Ciao Bob

          Yeah, totally weird, although paying the USD equivalent of $8 for xiaolongbao in Taipei invokes a bit of the champagne wishes and caviar dreams (since a tray of xlb will ordinarily cost about a dollar).

          I've also been to all of the branches of DTF that you have been (although you fly much better than I do when I go there) and it's totally odd to hear of cocktails and truffle XLB. They're clearly playing with their demographics.

          Mr Taster

          1. re: Ciao Bob

            Had the truffle XLB in Shanghai and wasn't a fan. It proved there's such a thing as too much truffle. Stick with pork or pork and crab.

            1. re: lax2mia

              You were most probably served fungi from the Tuber Indicum (a.k.a."Chinese black truffles") family, not Tuber Melanosporum (a.k.a. "Périgord truffles). Depending on the subfamily, Indicum taste and flavor will vary wildly.

            2. re: Ciao Bob

              FYI, several of us on the SF board have had them. I was not any kind of VIP, and it was listed as a normal item on the menu at the Fuxing branch (inside the SOGO mall complex) when I visited twice last year. It tasted like the real Perigord truffle. It was pretty awesome.

              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/899578

              1. re: Kirk_T

                Interesting, I never saw them at the original DTF or the Taipei 101 DTF. But it has been about 3 years. is it a new item?

                1. re: Ciao Bob

                  I forwarded that LA Times article to a friend from Taichung who lived in Torrance for 18 years and is now back in Taipei. He was completely unsurprised by the mention of truffle xiaolongbao at Glendale as he's had them before in the Taipei branch, so I'm led to believe that perhaps we're the ones who are out of the loop.

                  Mr Taster

                  1. re: Mr Taster

                    I don't know how long it's been on the menu in Taiwan, but it's currently listed on their website, so it looks to be a regular item.

                    1. re: Kirk_T

                      My friend has been having them at the HK location when he's there. They are $22.50 for a batch of 5, according to one Yelper.

                      1. re: TripleAxel

                        Sounds awfully cheap for perigord truffles. I'm suspecting lesser canned stuff and a touch of truffle oil.

                  2. re: Ciao Bob

                    The item is exclusive to The Americana location only currently according to the owner. Went on a weekday afternoon on Day 4 after swinging by both Arcadia locations with lines. Drove to Glendale knowing they are open all day with no break in between. Sat down at 2:45pm.

                    Truffle XLB sold out. No wait.

                    Service earnest, but still a little haphazard. Almost no Chinese servers. Had some trouble with drinks, should have been comped as they came out at the end of the meal.

                    Owner greeted us on the way out and we talked about why alcohol at this location, blah, blah, blah. Seattle also has alcohol.

                    Apparently, this location has only four steamers versus the eight that each Arcadia location has. This is because there are some air quality restrictions for the residents of The Americana. So don't expect the quick turns they do in Arcadia or Taipei. Order, have a $10 cocktail, relax and wait for your XLB or your truffle XLB if you're lucky.

                    Food was definitely at their standard. Interior beautiful. And the XLB boy at the entrance just like Taipei!

                     
                      1. re: revets2

                        My sis just texted me her report. Like you said, no Chinese servers (not that there is anything wrong with that) and she said her food wasn't hot.

                2. Truffle XLB is fine, but I don't know how to feel about a cocktail program at DTF. We don't need another Hakkasan/Chi-Lin...

                  1. Good news indeed. One of my longtime business associates lost a bet to me a while back, and the stake was to get the other party 3 orders of XLBs from the DTF Americana when they first open.

                    Time to collect...

                    1. I'm gonna be in Glendale tomorrow around noon for an hour or so. Wonder if they'll have a soft-open.

                      13 Replies
                      1. re: PeterCC

                        Sounds like you're about to find out...

                        1. re: J.L.

                          I was there around noon and stopped in. They open officially on Monday. They were doing limited service so it appears that they are soft open.

                          Mr Taster

                            1. re: PeterCC

                              By the way, I'm not sure at all what they mean when they say the decor is a homage to the original Taipei branch, which is tall, narrow and cramped multi-level affair. This is absolutely none of those. Further, the (extremely non-Taiwanese) bartender who met me said that they will not be serving truffle xlb, but that she is aware that they are served at the original Taipei location. She also said that this is the only branch with a full bar.

                              As far as prices, they don't look much different than the Arcdia locations. Veg dishes are $8 each, xiaolongbao are $7.75/10 pork and $9.50/10 pork and crab. Most other dumplings and buns range between that price range with roubao at $1.90. Virtually everything else falls in at around $6-$8 with a few exceptions.

                              And they offer fried rice with a $1 extra brown rice option, if that says anything to you about how aware they are that their expected demographic will be shifting.

                              Mr Taster

                              1. re: Mr Taster

                                They are closed for a private event today. Official open tomorrow.

                                 
                                1. re: Mr Taster

                                  Now to figure out what time to go to avoid the lines...

                                  1. re: Mr Taster

                                    Customers get to gawk at the team assembly of the XLBs in Glendale, as well?

                                    1. re: J.L.

                                      From what I could see from outside the place, the kitchen, at least what looks like the XLB making station, is surround by glass inside.

                                      1. re: PeterCC

                                        "same as it ever was/same as it ever was/same as it ever was"

                                        1. re: PeterCC

                                          I discovered recently that one of my informal in-laws is working on this project (physical construction, not the food). There is definitely glass surround.

                                          As for the food, I was never the biggest fan of DTF in Arcadia (have never been to the other locations). While I think the Truffle XLB is gimmicky (and thus off-putting, IMHO), I can't fault them for positioning themselves well. I imagine the Atwater Village hipsters will gobble it up (both figuratively and literally).

                                      2. re: Mr Taster

                                        "Further, the (extremely non-Taiwanese) bartender who met me said that they will not be serving truffle xlb, but that she is aware that they are served at the original Taipei location."

                                        Curious. I just saw a post on Instagram by Mattatouille (http://instagram.com/p/gTiQBctMLX/) with pictures of truffle XLB at DTF. It doesn't specify which location but I'm assuming Glendale. Guess the bartender was wrong?

                                        1. re: PeterCC

                                          It's hard to find good help these days.

                                          Mr Taster

                                          1. re: PeterCC

                                            Maybe it's just not for the commoners...

                                2. So who's going to report back how long the line is?

                                  5 Replies
                                    1. re: Chandavkl

                                      And LA Magazine has mixed up their Chinese homonyms.

                                      It's 小籠包, not 小龍包.

                                      Mr Taster

                                      1. re: Mr Taster

                                        Homophones, and I just commented to that effect on the post (though it has to be approved before it appears, apparently).

                                        1. re: PeterCC

                                          >> Homophones

                                          Oh, that's true, since they're not "spelled" the same. Funny.

                                          I left a comment, too. Let's see which one is posted first!

                                          Mr Taster

                                          1. re: Mr Taster

                                            "Little dragon dumplings" sounds more poetic than "dumplings in little baskets"

                                  1. You know, I see there's some eye-rolling going on in this thread, but really- I think Din Tai Fung is the Great Yellow Hope for real Chinese food. If Glendale is a success, as I anticipate it to be, why not Santa Monica next? And once DTF paves the way, why not Newport Seafood? And the a *real* version of 101 Noodle Express, and then they drive Panda Express out of business, and we can get to raising standards and expectations among the great swath of non-Chinese Americans of what Chinese food actually is. Perhaps one day, blonde teenage girls will be singing on Youtube videos about beef rolls instead of beef & broccoli.

                                    Mr Taster

                                    9 Replies
                                    1. re: Mr Taster

                                      Don't get my hopes up. Aside from the first opening months, I don't see a huge line at ROC Kitchen on Sawtelle. Yes, DTF should draw a large crowd based on name, but whoever it was (J.L? ipse?) who said in those old ROC threads that the demand may not be there (beyond us Westside 'hounds) to make it viable to run one out in SM. Though I gotta figure the rent at the Americana would be comparable or more than rents out in SM.

                                      1. re: PeterCC

                                        Still waiting for that mainland restaurant open up in the Century City mall. (Last spring the sign said opening this summer.) That might provide an indication on how well authentic plays on the Westside.

                                        1. re: Chandavkl

                                          Yeah, I noticed that place too, but in Century City of all places.

                                          I doubt it will have that authenticity.

                                      2. re: Mr Taster

                                        Quote: "Perhaps one day, blonde teenage girls will be singing on Youtube videos about beef rolls instead of beef & broccoli."

                                        JMO, of course, but the blonde, not-quite-teenage-anymore girls at Huckleberry might try truffle XLB, but they and their muscular former fratboy hedge funds boyfriends ain't gonna try anything from Newport Seafood. Ditto for their parents.

                                        Beef rolls, maybe, b/c it's a wrap and won't be seen as carb-heavy. ::snort::

                                        In all honesty, though, I think DTF could be a success on the westside, but I think high-end asian seafood will be VERY confusing to a lot of folks on this side of town (a shame, really).

                                        1. re: ilysla

                                          "JMO, of course, but the blonde, not-quite-teenage-anymore girls at Huckleberry might try truffle XLB, but they and their muscular former fratboy hedge funds boyfriends ain't gonna try anything from Newport Seafood. Ditto for their parents."

                                          Why do you say that ????

                                          1. re: kevin

                                            Because the eat in force at places like Literati and the bars on Wilshire near Barrington. Literati food (generally) = completely bland, unadventurous, and not even that high quality in terms of ingredients. But so many on this side of town seem to love it. Can't imagine that food that has actual, you know, FLAVOR will appeal to them (and the whole fish + fish head def ain't gonna fly).

                                            1. re: ilysla

                                              Maybe I misquoted.

                                              I think I meant, lllysal, that why would blonde girls really be adventurous in food but there fratboy/hedge fund manager boyfriends cum husbands not ????

                                              Thanks.

                                              1. re: kevin

                                                No, not misquoted. Misunderstood. ;)

                                                I don't think the blonde girls *or* their partners will be adventurous b/c I think high-traffic places, like Huckleberry, are good but are NOT very adventurous.

                                                1. re: ilysla

                                                  I see now. It was just me being a dumbs as usual. :)

                                                  Got it. Now that makes sense to me.

                                                  Both the blond girls and/or their uber-frat boyfriends.

                                                  Thanks.

                                                  That is possibly a good point.

                                      3. There are 72 pix on yelp already with 32 reviews. Wow.

                                        $10 cocktails btw

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: ns1

                                          Then you better hit that shit up already.

                                        2. By the way, has anyone been here right at opening on a weekend and/or a weekday? I want to bring a group of my foodie friends here, but need to gauge the wait.

                                          Apparently, at peak times, the wait can by 2 1/2 hours for a table....

                                          Thanks!

                                          1. Is there a bar area that serves XLB? if so, would it be possible to walk in at lunch and sit at the bar and eat as a solo diner, or is the bar also jam packed?

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: ns1

                                              That sounds like a great idea. I was thinking the same thing.

                                              And does anyone know what the going rate is for the truffle XLBs ????

                                              Thanks a bunch.