This weekend I paid a little visit to my little brother. He lives in the SGV or San Gabriel Valley. It was cold and rainy, so it was perfect for gorging on dumplings and other treats. There are so many places in the SGV that I am very excited to want to stuff face. We went up for the day on short notice so it was pretty off the cuff. Just scratching the surface of the San Gabriel Valley.
Let's work backwards. After a pint, we went to Donut Friend in Highland Park. I got the Jets to Basil and it was mind exploding. I never eat whole donuts but I figure, its a once in a while thing so I stuffed face with goat cheese, basil, strawberry jam, with a balsamic sauce. The names of the donuts reminded me of high school and the music I listed to. If this existed while I was in high school I would have lied to my parents and taken a field trip with my friends and then stuffed face with the Starting Lime and the Gorilla Biscuit because at that time I could have eaten all the donuts.
Then there is JJ Bakery. Treats so cute and delicious its fucking scary. Sweet and savory, the selection, imo, is better than 85 Degrees. 85 has so many options and of course the salt coffee, but that bread that looks like a watermelon tho! Also the steamed buns and actual food options and the rye bread. I love it all.
On to the big show, the gateway dumpling, Din Tai Fung. After my first bite I was hooked to the xiao long bao. I Googled how to make it, then what are the best places near Long Beach, obviously it's Westminster and Artesia. Scratching the surface. Now all I can think of is when and where is the next stop on my dumpling journey? Well, here's a start from Lucky Peach. Let's all go yeah?