Din Tai Fung (Glendale)

Anh and I have been spending a lot of weekends up in LA lately so why not share what we’ve been eating? There are three different Din Tai Fung locations in the Los Angeles area. ¬†The first two are in Arcadia while the newest location here opened in Glendale late last year at the Americana shopping center. If you are not familiar with Din Tai Fung, they serve different varieties of dumplings including soup dumplings and pan fried dumplings. Be careful what you say around die hard DTF fans, for they would take a bullet for their beloved restaurant.

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At the front by entryway they have a dumpling assembly viewing area where they prepare the dumplings in front of you while you wait. The most obvious difference from the other locations is their check in system. You leave them your cell phone number and they text you about 15 minutes before your table is ready. This is great being right next to the Americana mall so while you wait for your table you can peruse the stores. We were told our total wait would be 45 minutes and received our page about 45 minutes later. We made our way back and checked in again. Thinking we’d only have to wait a little bit after we came back to the restaurant, we were in good shape. That 15 minutes turned into about 35 minutes. I can see why people bash the wait time here. While I like the thought of being able to take a leisurely walk in peace before being texted, I can’t help but feel a little slighted. Have you ever been told the wait time would be 20 minutes, only for it to be 45 minutes? Maybe they should under promise and over deliver.

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The dining area was a little tight, but the high ceilings gave the appearance of more space. You fill out a little paper with your selections and the food magically appears at your table.

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Waiting can be worth it if it means eventual foodgasm. We ordered the juicy pork dumplings and the juicy pork and crab dumplings. It is easy to find a decent dumpling, but very hard to find a great dumpling. Everything has to go right from the texture of the wrapper, to the soup inside, and finally the flavor of everything coming together. It is a delicate balance indeed. Our dumplings on this day fell a little short on all of those aspects. The dumplings were not very warm, and the soup didn’t have as much flavor as I normally am accustomed to receiving at the other Din Tai Fung restaurants. It just seemed average to me. No foodgasm here.

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Feeling unsatisfied we ordered the shrimp and pork wonton soup. We eliminated the temperature problem we had with the first set of dumplings because the soup was hot. The broth was clean and had the right amount of salt. Overall, it gave us what we wanted which was satisfaction.

A weekend later we went to one of the Din Tai Fung restaurants in Arcadia and our meal was night and day. Our wait time was accurate and our food came out hot and flavorful. If you are west of Glendale and Arcadia it may be best to drive a little further to ensure a true DTF experience.

Din Tai Fung
177 Caruso Blvd.
Glendale, CA 91210

www.dintaifungusa.com

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About Darren

Fooood! I love it if you can't tell already. I love everything about it. The taste, the smell, the look, the feel, the satisfaction, the gratification, and ultimately: the fun! I've been in San Diego for about 10 years now and it amazes me that there are still places to uncover. Traveling, eating, and taking pictures of food has always been a hobby of mine. So naturally Michael and I thought it made sense to share what we found with all of you. I tend to side with the savory but never shy away from a knock out dessert. If you have a place you think we haven't tried let us know! We're always on the lookout...

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