Friday, September 28, 2018

Top 10 Dumplings Served in Los Angeles

I love all kinds of dumplings. Boiled. Fried. Steamed. Oily. Slippery. You named it!

Lists of Top 10 Dumplings for Los Angeles is in order. There should plenty to choose from. Not all of them belongs in the same region at Monterrey Park. In fact, you'll find it interesting to know, most are moving towards east on this list.

Pretty much you can treated this scrumptious feigns as a meal itself, an appetizer for some, or anytime snack for most people if you can burn those carbs.

Here is the fun fact: You don't necessary needs meat to put it into dumplings. Nor does it needs to be savory. So a lot of people have precognition in thinking it needs to be in rice wraps as well.

To come with this list, I'll keep this simple. It will be strictly dumplings. Not super sized baos (as in big donut buns size) or pie. I will exclude any shu-mai or anything like rice noodle dishes from dim sum items. As always, keeping it simple with hidden spots as the bigger plus.

Kingburg Kitchen
715 W Las Tunas Dr
San Gabriel, CA 91776


San Gabriel is awash with waves of possibilities for dumplings galore. Pretty much every street corner has a dumpling restaurant at their plaza. Kingburg Kitchen is pretty much known for two types of dishes: their jiaozi (pan fried dumplings) and Shen Jiang Bao (pan fried juicy buns). Think of crispy brown bottom and juicy soup on the inside.

There's something about this little bite size starter perfect for their beef noodle soup as well. It's glorious coming here when you know you can ordered everything from pork to vegetarian version, those will still come out perfect.

Ding's Garden
18922 Gale Ave
Rowland Heights, CA 91748


There are so many version of this place. Too many rumors and innuendos to list here. Pretty much was that there was an original one on Valley Blvd in San Gabriel. After an ugly divorce mess, the business was sold. Then a few pops up in Pasadena, Irvine and here in Rowland Heights. I'll keep this simple in that Rowland Heights location does better on the potstickers variety which is like the jiaozi I posted above.

Ding's is also known for their cold dish appetizers on the menu and their fabulous beef noodle soup. What sets apart from the other locations of Ding's was their pan fried version of their dumplings. They do wonders on the boiled versions as well.

Q Noodle House
18930 Gale Ave
Rowland Heights, CA 91748


Short distance walk in the same plaza as Ding's Garden is this very low key Noodle house that serves up some of the best boiled dumplings you can find. The fish dumplings with right amount of vinegar and soy sauce can liven these simple, but yet delicious treats. Don't let the pungent fish smell fool you, it's an absolute delight.

Q Noodle House is situated in a very popular plaza that includes the best pho place in town (Pho Rowland), Two popular Korean joints (Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong and Sun Nuong Dan), tourist trap of Boiling Crab, an extremely popular Sichuan hot pot (Lameizi) and the previously mentioned Ding's Garden. Be warned: it's crazy traffic jam on Friday nights.

Mama's Lu
153 Garvey Avenue
Monterrey Park, CA 91755


I wrote about this place in one of my earliest blog post. This place still holds the standard for most dishes for the Shanghai cuisine. It used to be very popular for the locals, but then you know... first the blogs, then the media hype (most notably Jonathan Gold) and now social media from the youngsters. It can get crazy in here with long wait for dinner.

Their specialty is the juicy soup dumplings we like to call Xiao Long Bao (XLB). Its hint of a sweet taste often gets imitated it by many other competitors around town. However, I would like to showcase their boiled dumplings as that tends to be underrepresented in their establishments.

This flagship was so successful, it sprang a new shop down the street. In a weird site note, the Mama is run by the daughter, while the mom runs a successful supplier operation of dumplings, xlbs, and other pre-packaged dishes. It gotten so successful, family opened up a new front in south OC called Paper Lantern.

101 Noodle Express
1408 E Valley Blvd
Alhambra, CA 91801


For the very longest time, this place rivals Mama's Lu as the place to go for all Shanghai related cuisine in the hotbed of Asian cuisine. Probably less than 5-10 minutes drive for one. Pretty much a slam dunk if you need something fulfilling. This place get the same kind of hype from the social media crowd as Mama's for the same exact dishes. So be warned when you find out there's a big wait for those dumplings and beef roll. Oh, one big difference: CASH ONLY.

New Golden City
1015 Nogales St #128
Rowland Heights, CA 91748


They just got featured last week for top chicken dishes place and now they're back in this dumpling rendition. This place has been around for quite awhile since the golden days of the 90s when Rowland Heights was awash with newly arrivals from Chinese and Taiwanese immigrants. Along with the Supreme Dragon Restaurant (old school colleagues will remembered this beloved shuttered place) was the go to place for dumplings. The only drawback is the tight parking spaces in the plaza that houses Ranch 99 supermarket.

If you can get over this small mishap, you'll enjoyed many of the fine Chinese dishes that many people come to love. The traffic is rough in this area because of road construction since 4 years ago for tunnel road they will eventually finish, but it's worth the trek for this surround area.

Hwang To Kil HTK
18732 Colima Rd
Rowland Heights, CA 91748


Whoa! A Korean restaurant entry. You probably never get to see that happened, but it's only right when there's a place like this only happens once in a while. Korean Military Stew which was popular among ex-patriots of the cold war days from our Southeast Asian neighbors. A dish that incorporate rationed food such as cheese, sausage and spam into soup. This restaurant serves some of the best stew and spicy noodles soup you'll find in this area if you don't wish to travel to hectic Koreatown.

Don't sleep on their version of kimchi dumplings, which incorporate the salted and fermented vegetable into pork dumplings. It's already popular in commingled with fried rice, but with the steamed dumplings and a bit panned, these are simply superb.

Pine and Crane
1521 Griffith Park Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026


Hipsters can rejoice! There is a place for them on the eastside (sensitive topic for region gatekeepers). This well known, uber popular Taiwanese influenced housed some of the more aesthetics pleasing dishes for the uninitiated. As many are still not treating Taiwanese dishes as a finer cuisine until this place opened up in a busy stretch facing Sunset Blvd.

The Chili won tons are the popular side dish many would get to accompany with their beef rolls or something less challenging to be nibble. Without a doubt, this was an mistaken item on their menu. Whenever I showed this photo, people knew where these won tons are from. Go figure!

Little Shanghai Restaurant
18457 Colima Road
Rowland Heights, CA 91748


Unusual, but not really. This tiny little restaurant is a very old food court that probably seen more turnovers than a French bistro on Melrose Ave or Third Street on the westside of LA. The only constant in that fool hall (we called that now?) is this Shanghai restaurant that outlast most take out joints in this sleepy hallow of a plaza.

Extremely popular for their pan fried dumplings over the juicy soup version. I probably would choose Mama's for that version. If you ever settled into this table service corner spot (the only one in that food hall that does not have a stall, but an open space), go for their dan dan mein as well.

Tasty Noodle House
1611A Azusa Avenue
Hacienda Heights, CA 91745


This place was bestowed upon me because of the fact I had to work late one night. My former boss who at the time decided to treat me to a dinner because I needed to finish some project. Apparently this hybrid of a Shanghai/Taiwanese/Northern Chinese cuisine place was a popular spot among the vast residents of east SGV. I didn't know how popular until I realized most chose this over another popular place in this plaza (checked it on Yelp, it got more reviews for that rival).

Regardless in the lack of exposure, I'm pretty certain most residents is keeping this place on the down-low for their Shen Jiang Bao (pan fried) and many vast array of fried rice and fried noodle dishes. It's probably a good idea in not letting out-of-towners on this hot tidbit. 

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