In the mood for some juicy Shanghai-style soup dumplings (xiao long bao), but don’t want to spend the time or money to sit down at Arcadia’s upscale Din Tai Fung? Just drive a little farther up Baldwin and order takeout from Dumpling House.
This unassuming family-owned restaurant serves dishes from the Han region of eastern China at its strip-mall storefront just south of Huntington. Although the menu lists more than 100 dishes (wood-ear and mushroom with eggs or cold spicy beef tendon might tempt the brave), your best bet is to stick to the most deservedly popular dishes: steamed dumplings, sliced beef with scallion pancake, and cumin lamb, which are a bargain at $5.95, $5.95 and $7.99 respectively. The dumplings are juicy and savory, with wonderfully doughy skins. The lamb’s strong cumin flavor mixes perfectly with hot chili peppers and thin slices of meat. But it’s the sliced beef with scallion pancake, a favorite among both staff and patrons, that tops them all — the tender, sweetly seasoned beef spills out of its chewy, fried-dough wrapping, making for a perfect comfort-food dish.
The small dining room and lack of a liquor license makes Dumpling House more suited to take-out than dine-out, but the low prices and good food will have you stopping in again and again.
Dumping House, 921 S. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia, 626.445.2755. L & D daily. Chinese. No booze. MC, V. $
— Daniel Siegal