If you are of a certain bent, you have probably spent many mornings milling around the parking lot outside the original Din Tai Fung, checking off too many items on the clipboard menu issued with your queue number, waiting for your shot at a steamerful or three of the renowned soup dumplings. Using irrefutable logic, the owner just opened a brand-new branch of his restaurant . . . right around the corner. This means that you get to fight for space in the same parking lot and fill up on boba beforehand in the same Chinese kitsch emporium, but you can spend your waiting time pressing up against a handsomely curved wall of glass, behind which squadrons of busy dumpling technicians frolic like porpoises at Sea World. It’s the greatest dumpling show on Earth. Once you are finally seated in the shining gallery, your order sheets whisked from the table by the hostess, you will find the Din Tai Fung experience to be pretty much the same as it is next door, although the efficiency seems to have been perfected — the food appears as quickly as it would in a Jack in the Box drive-thru — and the ambiance is closer to a chic Taipei department store than to a vast food hall. 1088 S. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia, (626) 446-8588.
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