Xiaolongbao at Din Tai Fung in Costa Mesa
Last June, when Aaron and I ate at Chan Chan Food House in Irvine, California, one of you suggested we try a restaurant called Din Tai Fung (shout out to Mykrohan for the tip and another thanks for the reminder on the recent post about Dosirak!). Back in September, we were in the South Coast Plaza mall running errands and found ourselves hungry. We looked up and saw the restaurant, remembering that this was the place. We decided to go in, knowing little to nothing about it except that we were supposed to try the xiaolongbao.
We’re so glad we did because the entire experience was wonderful. This place is a well-run machine during the lunch rush, humming with life and vibrancy as you see people coming and going, hear the music of different conversations and the clanking of plates, and catch a glimpse of the giant racks of steaming xiaolongbao when the doors to the kitchen swing open, wait staff rushing back and forth as they serve customers.
Aside from being beautiful, the xiaolongbao were fantastic. You have to be careful when you bite into them because (the ones we ordered) exploded with this delicious pork soup and meat flavor that was amazing. I can see how if you get a craving for them, nothing else would satisfy it. It’s such a unique experience that there isn’t a real substitute. On top of this, one of my favorite parts was the red bean bun dessert. It was comforting and pleasant. We didn’t get pictures of it because it we had eaten it shortly after it arrived at the table.
The last time we were over in Costa Mesa, we saw that Din Tai Fung was expanding as part of the storefront was under construction. Their success is well-deserved. They made fans of us in a single visit and we’d gladly wait awhile to be seated if it were necessary. I look forward to brining friends and family here when they visit because they will love it.
When and if you have a chance, consider grabbing a bite. According to the latest information on their website, they have locations across the West Coast in California, Oregon, and Washington. Here is a history of the restaurant and a look at the process of how they make their xiaolongbao: