You know the name by now: Din Tai Fung, the xia long bao mecca that started in Taiwan and now has SoCal locations in both Arcadia and Glendale (not to mention an OC spot as well). Each soup dumpling is meticulously made, resulting in lovely, thin-skinned pouches filled with savory pork (there are shrimp and veggie options, too, but you'll want to go with the pork) and hot broth, then eaten with a dab of soy sauce, vinegar and ginger. In Glendale, you can top them off with a slice of truffle (there's also a full bar at the Americana location).
|Venue name:||Din Tai Fung||Contact:|
1108 S Baldwin Ave
|Opening hours:||Mon-Fri 11am-9:30; Sat 10am-9:30pm; Sun 10am-9pm|
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The original (LA) location of Din Tai Fung is awesome—'70s style cafeteria with lazy susans on the larger tables and a waitstaff that's kind but also swift and no-nonsense. There will always, always be a long wait time, but luckily there's a great old-school bowling alley just a couple blocks away, so you can roll a few before knocking back your soup dumplings—they're the reason you're all the way out here in the first place.
Soup dumplings are the main attraction here—and for good reason—but the rest of the menu deserves some attention, too. In particular, the sautéed string beans with garlic are a must-order. Of course, the dumplings are incredible; expect to go through an entire order of juicy pork dumplings on your own. The Glendale location has a bar and a few extra menu options, but I still find myself coming to this location more often—tea comes on the table here automatically and the rotating wait staff is astonishingly efficient. Even better, if you can come on a weekday by 6pm or so, there's no wait at all.