68: Lamb Pie at Beijing Pie House

Lamb Pie at Beijing Pie House
Lamb Pie at Beijing Pie House
G. Snyder

Leading up to this year's Best of L.A. issue (due out Oct. 4), we'll be counting down, in no particular order, 100 of our favorite dishes.

68: Lamb Pie at Beijing Pie House.

See those xian biang, those hefty, puck-sized, round meat pies known as a popular roadside snack in northern China? They might look innocuous, but don't be fooled -- they can transform into deadly weapons when placed into untrained hands.

At Beijing Pie House, a colorfully decorated diner in Monterey Park, the specialty is a crispy, oversized dumpling stuffed with minced lamb and a ladleful of scalding-hot pressurized broth. You can attempt to nibble and tease at the outer skin, soft and pliable but lightly browned outside. Inevitably, though, you will take too eager a bite, sending the luscious, gamey liquid squirting across the room and dribbling down to your elbows.

Once the pies have cooled sufficiently and the threat of first-degree burns has subsided, the xian bing becomes a heavenly thing. You drizzle on a bit of black vinegar and a dab of chili oil, which cuts the richness of the minced lamb perfectly, then tear through the shell of crispy dough. It might be wise to pack a pair of safety goggles -- just in case the guy at the table next to you decides not to heed the waitress's warnings about hot fluids under pressure.

Check out the rest of our 100 of our favorite dishes. Suggestion? Write us a comment.

100: Lukshon's Dan Dan Noodles

99: Cemita de Milanesa at Cemitas Poblanos Elviritas #1

98: Chichen Itza's Cochinita Pibil

97: Tsukemen at Tsujita L.A.

96: La Cevicheria's Bloody Clam Ceviche

95: Duck Shawarma at Momed

94: Peruvian Chicken at Pollo a la Brasa

93: Squash Blossom Quesadilla at Antojitos Carmen

92: Thai Boat Noodles at Pa-Ord

91: Baco Mercat's Bazole

90: Furikake Kettle Corn at A-Frame

89: Live Santa Barbara Spot Prawns at Providence

88: Fried Pig Tails at Night + Market

87: Egg Salad Sandwich at Euro Pane

86: Galbi Jjim at Soban

85: Truffle Honey-Laced Fried Chicken at Manhattan Beach Post

84: Mool Naeng Myun at Yu Chic Naeng Myun

83: Chicken Vampiro at Mexicali Taco & Co

82: Sooo Cali Dog at Dog Haus

81: White Anchovy, Tomato and Fresno Chile Pizza at Pizzeria Mozza

80: Shu Mai at Elite Restaurant

79: Tandoori Chicken at Al-Watan

78: Chocolate Bread and Butter Pudding at The Hungry Cat

77: Agedashi Tofu at Izakaya Bincho

76: Pork Chop at Salt's Cure

75: Porcetto at Sotto

74: The Sea Urchin Tostada at La Guerrerense

73: Wood-Roasted English Peas at Tar & Roses

72: Persian Mulberries at Weiser Family Farms

71: Hunan-Style Preserved Pork with Tofu at Hunan Chilli King

70: Brisket Banh Mi at Gjelina Take Away

69: Yukhwe Bibimbap at Oo-Kook Korean BBQ

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Beijing Pie House

846 E. Garvey Ave.
Monterey Park, CA 91755


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