Dumplings for Days
Located south of Pasadena and East of the city of Los Angeles is an area called MontereyPark. It is known for having many Asian restaurants. I decided to go outside of L.A to try xiao long bao (also known as soup dumplings) and ended up having a really good Chinese meal.
When you sit down, the menu is very classic. It has everything in both Chinese and English, starting with the choice of 19 dumplings. There is everything from juicy pork to spicy wonton, and veggie eggrolls. They also have a nice selection of soups, rice, noodles, and classic meat dishes.
I was there to try the dumplings, so I ordered a few different types: veggie eggrolls, pan-fried chicken and chive dumplings, and the green onion fried pancake. They were all very good. I also got the crab and pork xiao long bao, but I am not big on eating pork. However, they had good flavor and the dough was very thin.
Sirved must try:
- Pan-fried chicken and chive dumplings: If you like bao, this is similar to a doughy bao, with a soft exterior, and pan-fried bottom. They are crispy, but still soft, and are filled with a savory inside. The chives really add a nice flavor, but there is also something about the almost caramelized bottom that is just amazing.
- Ginseng soup: It is a bit different than you might have normally at a Chinese restaurant, but it comes with chicken and is really nice on a cold day.
- Salted fish and chicken fried rice: I actually asked for this without the chicken. The salted fish is really nice on its own, and I like how it stood out without the chicken.
- Green onion fried pancake: This is like a savory pancake that is fried, it is similar to a Korean pancake, but it is really tasty.
- Tea: Finish off your meal with a pot of tea, which comes with peanuts and pickled cucumbers.
What I like about Mama Lu’s is that they offer more than just Chinese food, but a bit of variation, such as Indonesia fried rice, and French-style beef tenderloin. This provides more selection than what you might find at a typical Chinese restaurant. However, the real star of the show is the different dumplings, and you could definitely make a full meal out of them at Mama Lu’s.