My Visit to Din Tai Fung in Glendale, California at Americana at Brand

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If you’ve been following this blog, you know I am a big fan of Din Tai Fung. Back in October, I happened to have made a last minute trip up to the Seattle area and was lucky enough to eat at the Din Tai Fung in Bellevue, Washington. Well, by chance, in November I had to fly down to Los Angeles for work the same week that Din Tai Fung was opening up a new restaurant in Glendale, California and had a chance to eat there.

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My Love Boat friend “YGL,” her husband “Papa Bear” and her friend and colleague “Chung Yao Fat” met up at the Americana at Brand pedestrian mall, where Din Tai Fung is located – facing the street across from another mall, the Galleria. Americana at Brand reminded me of an even higher-end Santana Row (in San Jose, CA) pedestrian mall, except that there was kind of a town square type layout (I think, since it was kind of hard to tell at night).

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We put in our reservation at 8:00 pm on a Friday night, and were given an estimated waiting time of 2 hours, though we were told that they had a lot of no shows/cancellations (no doubt due to the long wait). We left a phone number with the restaurant where they would notify us by text message.

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About an hour and forty-five minutes later, we received our text message, waited and were shortly seated, more towards the back.

2013-11-08 21.54.45View from the back of the restaurant towards the front

We ordered and first received our order of bok choy and shrimp noodles – the noodles were especially delicious, then our main course for the evening – a series of dumplings, including: pork/shrimp, pork/veggie, pork/crab, fish dumplings and two more sets of dumplings which I’ve forgotten except that they were delicious. And afterwards, we had some friend rice, along with some spicy cucumbers. As a dumpling connoisseur, I only made the explicit effort to take the photos of the dumplings.

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I’d have to say the decor of this particular Din Tai Fung was certainly more upscale that the Arcadia ones, and more like the one in Bellevue, Washington. Since this was the first week of the opening there was some uncertainty by our waiter whether or not we had received all of the dumplings we had ordered. Taste and quality wise, I can’t say that this particular Din Tai Fung differed from the Bellevue one I had eaten ate a few week prior (which had been in operation for at least over a year).

One thing that I was disappointed was that the dumplings were steamed in metal steamers instead of the traditional bamboo steamers. Call me a traditionalist, but I like my dumplings to be in bamboo steamers. But I guess the metal ones are probably more durable and probably easier to clean.

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Besides that, I enjoyed my overall visit to Din Tai Fung. Upon exiting, I did notice a Din Tai Fung mascot – which was a dumpling holding a bamboo steamer full of dumplings. I don’t recall seeing that before at the Bellevue restaurant or others. I’m wondering if this is a new effort by Din Tai Fung to create a new branding element for their restaurants? The next Hello Kitty?

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In any case, if you’re in the mood for Chinese good and especially for xio long bao (“soup dumplings”), be sure to drop by the newest Din Tai Fung in Glendale, California at the Americana at Brand mall.


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About John

I'm a Taiwanese-American and was born & raised in Western Massachusetts, went to college in upstate New York, worked in Connecticut, went to grad school in North Carolina and then moved out to the Bay Area in 1999 and have been living here ever since - love the weather and almost everything about the area (except the high cost of housing...)
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