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Feb 23, 2014 07:49 AM

Best Dimsum place - Westside

I love Din Tai Fung and xiao long boa but not a big fan of the drive from Venice to Arcadia. Any recommendations for a good dim sum place around West LA? Particularly looking for a place that serves good xiao long bao. TY.

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  1. ROC is probably your best bet.

    2 Replies
    1. re: JAB

      Thank you for the reco. will definitely try it

      1. re: JAB

        Just at ROC last night for the fourth time in about a month. I went there first a couple months after they opened, and then hadn't been there in a long time and when I went back just before Christmas, they had doubled in size (took over the adjacent storefront) and greatly improved the xiao long bao dough texture. Usually I get the pork XLB and some pork combination (pork/shrimp is maybe best). Last night friend and I tried the chicken/lobster, and it was pretty tasteless. However, to my knowledge (very limited), XLB are not dim sum, right experts? Anyway, ROC is really good and is a great choice when you go to a movie at the Nuart (which is why I've been there so much--have been at the Nuart fairly often lately and ROC has become my go to).

        Edit: I see that the experts have already explained that XLB are not dim sum--just hadn't read the whole thread yet.

      2. Keep heading west, once you reach the Santa Monica pier, keep going (find a boat or something) and eventually if you keep going west you'll hit Hong Kong.

        Once there, I'd recommend Tim Ho Wan.


        16 Replies
        1. re: ipsedixit

          It appears we're introducing a new concept on Chowhound , folks: Snarky Sundays.

          This is a pet peeve of mine (and I'm sure you meant no malice but rather, stumbled into it): Xiao long bao and dim sum are NOT the same thing!

          Secondly, the topic of Westside dim sum (and Westside XLB, for that matter) has covered quite thoroughly already on this board. A quick search on the board would likely have given you sufficient intel for your initial query.

          My rants aside, for XLB: Try ROC. For Westside dim sum (in case you wanted dim sum and not XLB): We Westsiders are SOL.

          1. re: J.L.

            Actually, ipse's response is appropriate. He's saying not to bother, in his own inimitable manner. And given that the OP is knowledgeable about Chinese food, it's the truth.

          2. re: ipsedixit

            You forgot about the part about not ordering XLB at a Canto/HIK restaurant...? I don't think any self-respecting person from HK is going to order XLB, let alone XLB from during dim sum....

            1. re: ilysla

              I was a bit surprised to see them on the dim sum menu at Sea Harbor. I don't recall that they are on Elite's dim sum menu.

              1. re: JAB

                Can't recall about either of those two places (I only make it out to dim sum once every few months, if I'm lucky). Do recall seeing them at Lunasia (I think). I just find it very odd that they're available at all in these places....

                  1. re: ilysla

                    Lunasia has XLB, or what it calls Shanghai pork dumplings, but it's more an ode to the peanut gallery than anything else.

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      Where did I say I ever saw them on the menu? I was there w/ my parents, and they ordered them. I literally saw them on the table.

                      Having said that, aren't they on the first page of the link you posted under, uh, "Shang-Hai Pork Dumpling," which is item #7. I don't read Chinese, so I'm simply going by the pic + the English?

                      Edited to add: ipse, a shame you didn't leave your original comment unedited....

                1. re: ilysla

                  Oh, that's absolutely not true. Best XLBs ever were at dim sum at Lei Garden IFC in HK. Crab and pork XLB. Perfectly crafted. Filled with juice. 1 perfect bite.

                  1. re: Porthos

                    Never been (to HK or to the restaurant). Is it a restaurant for Shanghai-style food? If so, I'd expect to have good XLB (hopefully).

                    My comment stems more from my impression (from personal experience) that Canto/HK style tend to really like their "own" style of food and perhaps are not so open to food from other parts of China? So, in a dim sum place, I wouldn't expect XLB, and I certainly wouldn't expect them to be exemplary examples.

                    Since I'm wildly generalizing, I'll further add that maybe Canto/HK people are like the French that way? ;)

                    1. re: ilysla

                      Lei Garden is pretty well known for dim sum (packed, reservations only) and Cantonese food for dinner (abalone, shark fin, roast goose, crab, etc.)

                      Gratuitous pictures of dinner below. The only reason they let us in for dim sum was because we started reserving the good stuff for dinner. Then all of the sudden, as if by magic, a table for 4 became available...

                      1. re: Porthos

                        Eh. Well, there goes my theory. ;)

                    2. re: Porthos

                      +1, Lei cranks out some pretty sweet XLBs. Better than anything in LA.

                      1. re: Porthos

                        Gonna have to agree with Porthos. Lei Garden does a ridiculously good job with this non-Cantonese dish.

                        And why, you may ask, are HK Canto restaurants dabbling in Non-HK dishes? For the same reason Westfield Century City opened a Meizhou Dongpo: Benefiting from the Mainlander invasion.

                        1. re: J.L.

                          QUOTE: "And why, you may ask, are HK Canto restaurants dabbling in Non-HK dishes? For the same reason Westfield Century City opened a Meizhou Dongpo: Benefiting from the Mainlander invasion."

                          This was my point (sort of). I don't doubt that the chefs who make good food at Canto/HK restaurants *can* make good XLB. But the question, in my mind, is why would you do so when the "native" population doesn't necessarily want it? And your answer is that the native population is changing. So it all makes sense.... (same reason why luxury cars are more heavily targeting China w/ their latest models....).

                    3. re: ipsedixit

                      "... my father sailed here, on a slow boat *from* china...."

                      maybe over at the rand corporation in SM they've got a transporter to beam people places, in which case i'd go to vancouver just to stay in the same time zone.

                        1. re: TheOffalo

                          Actually Trader Joe's chicken shiu mai is probably the best single dim sum item you can get on the Westside.

                          1. re: Chandavkl

                            Really? May have to revisit. I had tried all of their dim sum items years ago and they were all awful in my experience.

                            1. re: TheOffalo

                              I have been publicly quoted as saying that their chicken shui mai tastes the same as WP24's.

                        2. re: wienermobile

                          Having lived in Singapore and Hongkong, I'm very picky with my asian/chinese food. I tried plenty of freezer food but it just dont cut it for me.

                        3. there is a din tai fung now in glendale to barely shorten your drive - if that is not an option Roc on sawtelle is your only option but i find their other menu items to be better.

                          for dim sum closer to home than sgv, then bao on beverly is not a bad option.

                          but i have to agree xlb is not dim sum although some menus offer xlb among their dim sum items.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: NYCnowLA

                            Thank you for the Bao reco. Will give it a try.

                            1. re: gratchie

                              Bao is actually OK for dim sum if you don't want to drive cross town and don't mind paying 2 to 3 times the price.

                              1. re: gratchie

                                i usually get it to go on my way home from work. it's fun to grab dim sum for dinner. it's a treat!