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There's Gold in them thar Dumplings

Servorg Dec 28, 2013 01:31 PM

Jonathan weighs in on DTF at the Americana http://www.latimes.com/food/la-fo-gol...

  1. wienermobile Dec 28, 2013 02:50 PM

    Can someone tell me if the wait times are usually over 90 minutes? Even on weekdays?

    12 Replies
    1. re: wienermobile
      n
      ns1 Dec 28, 2013 03:06 PM

      Yes on the weekday that I went. Go at 11. Not at 12.

      1. re: ns1
        k
        kevin Dec 28, 2013 04:01 PM

        You can grab a seat on the quickness at the bar if that's your persuasion.

      2. re: wienermobile
        Chandavkl Dec 28, 2013 03:30 PM

        Waiting times vary, and I would imagine are impacted by the size of the crowds at the mall. The day it rained recently somebody Tweeted it was still an hour wait for lunch. However when I went mid-week in early December, before the shopping crush started, I was immediately seated around 12:45pm.

        1. re: Chandavkl
          k
          kevin Dec 28, 2013 04:02 PM

          Mr. Chavandly what's your expert feelings and estimations on the novel new joint ????????

          1. re: kevin
            Chandavkl Dec 28, 2013 11:07 PM

            Well, it IS DinTai Fung. It's not like they dumbed down the food or anything And they do have the truffle XLB here which is very good, though probably not worth trying more than once a the price.

        2. re: wienermobile
          SilverlakeGirl Dec 28, 2013 03:34 PM

          I went at 11:15 AM on Sunday about 3 weeks ago. I wanted to go closer to the opening at 10AM but was out voted. We were seated immediately however. No wait.

          Service was brisk but we did not feel hurried. The place appeared to be operating on all cylinders.

          We used the Nordstrom's Valet but I have my own favorite parking spot in the Americana that is perfect. Half block stroll, and I'm there.

          1. re: SilverlakeGirl
            k
            kevin Dec 28, 2013 04:02 PM

            But it sucked right ??????

            1. re: kevin
              SilverlakeGirl Dec 28, 2013 05:49 PM

              You know, Kevin, I can't say that. Despite years and years of flogging myself for not going to Arcadia, I tried DTF for the first time. Heck, at the Americana I can almost walk to it from Atwater Village.

              I wanted to be totally in awe by the experience, but was not. We had the pork and crab dumplings which were yummy and fun to eat but they weren't the most amazing thing. Shanghai Rice Cakes which were okay but I am positive there are many better renditions in LA. I insisted on only one dish which turned out to be my favorite: Pork & Shrimp Won Tons in Spicy Sauce! Where can I find more? I'm sure they're are all over the SGV. Oh, and even if Ipse doesn't like it, I want to try their Dan Dan Noodles.

              My first trip to eat in SGV will probably be Chengdu Taste. I love spicy, I love lamb and mutton so I bet I will be right at home.

              1. re: SilverlakeGirl
                Porthos Dec 28, 2013 05:51 PM

                Agree with Gold that the pork and crab XLB are far inferior to the plain pork ones. Also the shrimp and pork steamed dumplings may be the best steamed "dumpling" of them all.

                Try the steamed chicken soup and fried pork chop with a side of shrimp fried rice.

                1. re: Porthos
                  k
                  kevin Dec 28, 2013 07:39 PM

                  And get a Snifter of blue labels.

                2. re: SilverlakeGirl
                  blimpbinge Dec 28, 2013 11:31 PM

                  They way the DTF makes the wonton's in spicy oil (紅油抄手) is a bit different than the norm. They use a sweet soy sauce and tone down the spice.

                  The normal way is to make it with spicy oil and sometimes also peanut/sesame paste. I'm sure there's some like DTF, but i stopped ordering them everywhere after the trillionth one i tried that was just bland and/or spicy.

                  @ DTF, I finish them then continue to use the sauce to dip other dumplings. Need to fight off the waiters that keep trying to take the bowl of sauce away

                  Also while DTF's food is famous, I think it's more famous for being "consistent" than "outstanding". No need to check to see if your XLB's have all ripped or exploded because they're made quite nicely there.

                  1. re: blimpbinge
                    SilverlakeGirl Dec 28, 2013 11:47 PM

                    Thanks for that extended reply. The sauce was not off the hook spicy but the dish [Pork & Shrimp Won Tons in Spicy Sauce] met my needs,

                    I am a huge fan of Fuchsia Dunlop and have been mining her books for a duplication … at the very least of a sauce.

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuchsia_...!

                    I can envision going in for XLB, soup and the won tons to go!

          2. k
            kevin Dec 28, 2013 04:00 PM

            Yeah. I tried those truffle dumplings.

            They beyond sucked.

            I'm now a believer in dumplings beyond din tai fucking fungs.

            8 Replies
            1. re: kevin
              ipsedixit Dec 28, 2013 07:56 PM

              Why anyone would think pairing truffles (of all things) with XLB would be a good thing is beyond me.

              Perfect example of the parts being *way* greater than the whole.

              It's like, "hey, toro is great and so is gelato, how about we make toro gelato!"

              1. re: ipsedixit
                Servorg Dec 28, 2013 08:44 PM

                Yeah...the next thing you the crazy bastards will be pairing truffles with pasta. Damn fools.

                1. re: ipsedixit
                  TheOffalo Dec 29, 2013 01:04 AM

                  I could imagine mincing some xianggu into XLB, so maybe truffles aren't so far fetched...

                  1. re: TheOffalo
                    ipsedixit Dec 29, 2013 06:26 PM

                    香菇 is as similar to truffles as a hotdog is to pork belly.

                  2. re: ipsedixit
                    JAB Jan 2, 2014 01:55 PM

                    That would at least make for a more balanced "meal" at Bulgarini.

                  3. re: kevin
                    TonyC Dec 30, 2013 09:08 AM

                    there's near concensus (amongst the parachute Chinese) that truffle XLB is the among the grosset thing to come out of DTF. and then there's Mr. Gold's take.

                    speaks volumes of the global palate.

                    1. re: TonyC
                      k
                      kevin Dec 30, 2013 04:13 PM

                      It does.

                      What's a "parachute Chinese" ??????

                      1. re: kevin
                        l
                        linus Dec 31, 2013 06:56 AM

                        oddly, i don't think one writer's opinion about xlb, and/or another writer's opinion on what some chinese like based on said writer's personal experience, speak volumes about anything.

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