There are many people who not only love soup dumplings but actually dream of them (hi, Dr. Mirea!). And not just any soup dumplings, but the glorious Shanghai-style soup dumplings from Din Tai Fung, perhaps the best xiao long bao specialist in the city, the lines at which can stretch so long that they seem to commingle with the lines for the second Din Tai Fung, which -- conveniently or not -- is just around the corner from the original Arcadia restaurant.
If you dream of them, too, and you should, then your recent dreams may have taken place in the unlikely location of the Americana at Brand, the huge unlovely mall that seems to take up as much of Glendale as the many car dealerships. That the third Din Tai Fung to open its doors in Los Angeles is in the Americana right next to Nordstrom's is, depending on your perspective, either a triumph of city planning or a bad mall joke. Who knows, maybe it's both. The only other U.S. iteration of the justly famous Taiwan dumpling palace is in Seattle -- Bellevue, actually -- also entrenched in a giant mall. Maybe somebody likes escalators.
And finally, after much rumor and longing, the new Din Tai Fung in Glendale will open its doors on Monday, Nov. 4. They will be very elegant doors, as the new restaurant is supposedly modeled on the original Din Tai Fung, which opened in 1967 in Xinyi, Taiwan. Thus a 6,800-square-foot space with patterned wood screens and floor-to-ceiling glass walls and seating for 160 diners. The new restaurant will have a bar program and something called a truffle dumpling. Which is apparently pretty much what it sounds like, a truffle-filled steamed dumpling "known for only being served to foreign dignitaries and very special guests in Taiwan." Foreign dignitaries! OK, then.
Will a truffle dumpling and a ton of booze be enough to get you into the Americana to realize your XLB dreams? Maybe so, particularly if you need to get some shopping done at Barney's or go see a matinee of the new Michael Fassbender flick. Regardless, here's hoping that, come Monday, the relentless lines on South Baldwin Avenue will finally become manageable.
The Din Tai Fung in Glendale will be open for lunch and dinner Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Valet parking is available. Of course it is.
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