Dumplings appear in one form or another in most regional cuisines, from the Mid West to the Middle East. However, it must be said that the Chinese have got these stuffed pockets on lock and dim sum is the ultimate way to sample a variety of these sweet, spicy and savory treats. Whether you’re a dim sum expert or novice, let the following 5 restaurants be your guide to bun in the sun.
1 Din Tai Fun Dumpling House
The OG Din Tai Fun Dumpling House in Taipei has had the distinction of appearing on the New York Times' top ten restaurants in the world. While I haven't visited the join overseas, I can understand the NYT shout-out, having visited Din Tai Fun's Arcadia outpost. Dumplings (obviously) are the specialty of the house but for those who wish to sample something other than these tasty treats, the glass noodle soup with bean curd and pork rolls is not to be missed.
2 Elite Restaurant
Monterey Park is known for it's Chinese cuisine and Elite Restaurant is the best of the bunch. With a recently redone dining room (think Asia meets the Middle East with lots and lots of golden tones), Elite Restaurant serves seriously delicious, not to mention spicy, traditional dim sum. The menu is in Chinese, but don't be dismayed if you can't manage Mandarin. The staff is more than helpful and can help you navigate the bun selection.
3 Mr. Chow's
Mr. Chow's made it onto our favorite Dim Sum spots when we evaluated Chinese brunch in February. But this haute little number is still the swankiest place to grab a bun and so, they're back on our list, for a second time running. It's easy to see why. Mr. Chow's been serving delicious dim sum since 1974, with a mix of old world Beijing cooking and new world innovation.
4 Ocean Seafood Restaurant
Located in the heart of Chinatown, Ocean Seafood Restaurant is renowned for fish so fresh, it might as well still be swimming. With a casual low-key atmosphere, this is the kind of place you can max and relax. In other words, wear jeans. And expect to wait--the joint is always packed with a mix of local hipsters and the longterm residents who tolerate them. Vegetarians who resent dim sum's meat-heavy menus will be happy at Ocean Seafood. A tip: the deep fried taro root dumplings are not to be ignored.
5 The Dim Sum Truck
Dim sum is one of the original street foods. Vendors used to set-up shop on busy roads to feed and appease hungry travelers. The Dim Sum Truck is bringing some of that OG flavor to weary Angelenos. While I've shied away from the current culinary craze, the gourmet food truck, it must be stated that the Dim Sum Truck's offerings are top notch stuffed pockets. Fans can follow the Dim Sum Truck's tour by visiting their website where parking schedules are posted weekly. Should you spy the Dim Sum TRuck parked on the side of the road, stop. Then amble over and order the Peking Duck Taco. Trust me. You won't be disappointed.