Food & Drink

LA's Best Dumplings (and They Aren't All Dim Sum!)

Published On 02/23/2016 Published On 02/23/2016
Andriana Albert/Thrillist
Andriana Albert/Thrillist
Tar & Roses
Andriana Albert/Thrillist
Din Tai Fung
Andriana Albert/Thrillist
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1. Robert's Russian Cuisine 1601 N LA Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028 (Hollywood)

Don't be fooled by the strip mall location. Part banquet hall, part Russian restaurant, Robert's Russian Cuisine in Hollywood is a Mom and Pop style joint specializing in classic Eastern European fare. Portions are large, service is friendly (they'll treat you like part of the family), and the flavors are bold and hearty.

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2. Daikokya 327 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA (Downtown)

Get OG ramen straight from Japan at this pint sized shop in LA's Little Tokyo. Rice bowls and ramen are the standouts on this basic menu-- get 'em with standard with pork and beef, go try something more adventurous like rice topped with salmon eggs and shiso leaf, or a teriyaki eel bowl. Most dishes ring up at under $20, making Daikokya an ideal spot for a quick lunch or dinner.

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3. Myung In Dumplings 3109 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006 (Koreatown)

This Anthony Bourdain-approved hole-in-the-wall dumpling spot off Olympia Blvd in Koreatown might have the best mandoo in LA. The boiled and fried pork, kimchi, and red bean dumplings are great, as are the few soups on the menu. The real speciality though is Wang Mandoo, giant, hamburger-sized steamed buns filled with a mix of glass noodles, pork, and vegetables.

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4. Ruen Pair 5257 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027 (Hollywood)

This Hollywood spot does Thai how it's supposed to be done, featuring a large menu with all of your favorite dishes at affordable prices.

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5. Tar & Roses 602 Santa Monica BLvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401 (Santa Monica)

No longer just a GnR cover band fronted by the particularly charismatic skeletal remains of a wooly mammoth, Tar and Roses is now also a date-friendly bistro chock full of marble and wood, the debut effort of lauded chef Andrew Kirschner (Joe's in Venice, Table 8, Wilshire), named LA's Best New Chef by Angeleno.

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6. Pine & Crane 1521 Griffith Park Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026 (Silverlake)

This ultra-casual, ultra-affordable Taiwanese cafe in Silverlake is the kind of restaurant you eat at once and crave forever. A solid player in LA's fast-casual scene, P&C offers up airy wontons, beef rolls, and noodle and vegetable dishes in a homey and modern space. The counter-service restaurant also features a wide variety of teas sourced from Taiwan, and a rotating list of craft beers and wine.

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7. Beijing Pie House 846 E Garvey Ave #A, Monterey Park, CA 91755

Xian bing, or Beijing pies, can be found that the eatery known for their delicious Sichuan treats. Xian bing is, essentially, a pan-fried hamburger withouth the cheese, made with a dough similiar to that of scallion pancakes. Imagine a soup dumping in pie form, bursting with flavor.

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8. Myung Dong Kyoja 3630 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010

This Koreatown spot is known for kalgooksoo, which literally means knife-cut noodles in Korean. Made with a clam-based, chicken-based, or pretty much anything-based broth, the noodle soup is the definition of comfort food. Myung Dong Kyoja's other speciality, mulmandu, or boiled pork dumplings, come served in the light broth, along with ground meat, scallions, and a side of insanely garlicky kimchee. Plus, the restaurant has windows into the kitchen where you can see the noodles get made.

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9. Din Tai Fung 1108 S Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007 (Arcadia)

This Asian fare leader is just one of numerous other associated restaurants around the world. Unsurprisingly, they're most well known for their extensive dumpling menu, but they serve numerous other options that are each crafted with precision and flavor in mind, at a reasonable price to boot.

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10. Birch 1634 N Cahuenga Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028 (Hollywood)

Birch might be the most adventurous restaurant ever to hit the neighborhood, blending together influences and flavors from all over the world (think scallop sashimi and rabbit baklava). As a bonus, you'll find a collection of inspired, market-forward cocktails with ingredient combinations like black lime and white tea rum, frankincense and irish whiskey, or vodka and pinecone.

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11. Dim Sum Express 326 N Garfield Ave, Monterey Park, CA 91754

This stripped-down chinese counter restaurant serves some of the best har grow in town: bursting with succulent shrimp, bits of bamboo shoots and a touch of sesame oil, these steamed, mochi-like dumplings deliver a hint of sweetness and chewiness that’s beyond words.

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12. Banh Mi My Tho 304 W Valley Blvd, Alhambra, CA 91803

This cash-only Vietnamese sandwich shop in Alhambra serves up hefty banh mi filled with everything from grilled pork and veggies to fried eggs and pate, as well as tasty summer rolls made with vermicelli noodles and generous helpings of shredded pork. Banh Mi My-Tho is a tiny operation, and you'll likely have to eat your sandwich on a bench outside the shop, but the sub-$5 prices are too good to pass up.