Best of 2 Chinese Specialties: Peking Duck and XLB?

I’ve been perusing FTC threads and have not found definitive answers to the questions:

  1. Best XLB? I have been to Din Tai Fung (albeit in South Coast Plaza) and liked it but was not “amazed.” I have no other experience with XLB so maybe I just don’t have a refined palate when it comes to this specialty. All the same, I would love recommendations on authentic, delicious XLB. I looked at another thread, XLB’s (xiao long bao), but I couldn’t find a majority consensus, prompting me to ask again here.

  2. Best Peking Duck? I last had this dish in the Bay Area where I loved it. But in LA, I see most places serve the duck with bao buns instead of the thin wrappers, which confounds me and makes want to avoid those places. I have heard Meizhou Dongpo is a good option but am looking for cheaper but still authentic options.

Bonus points if there are any places in/near Orange County but I’m open to all of Greater LA!

I apologize if I overlooked any past threads that already answered these questions. Appreciate any suggestions! :grinning:


Duck House in Monterey Park serves peking duck w/ the thin wrappers. It’s been years since I’ve eaten there but I remember the duck was very good. You do have to order the duck in advance iirc.

1 Like

The mantou buns are a California thing, or probably more accurately a Cantonese thing given the historic and deep Cantonese bent to Chinese food in LA and SF. Indeed until relatively recently, the thin wrappers were pretty much nonexistent in California.

my parents still vastly prefer the buns over the pancakes.

I like the buns when they’re quality, but prefer the pancakes all other times…

also, obligatory:


For Peking Duck, Happy Duck House in City of Industry serves duck with the thin wrappers. And it’s just over the hills from Orange County too.

It’s hard to get much consensus at all when it comes to something as subjective as food, even more so here and especially even more so here when it comes to XLB :stuck_out_tongue: I’ve always liked the XLB at Shanghai Dumpling House. Just a little hole-in-the wall, but flavorful. But, there’s always the possibility that if you didn’t enjoy XLB at Din Tai Fung, perhaps you just aren’t into XLB and won’t care for them anywhere.

1 Like

The comment re XLB is IMO a good one. I’ve had them a DTF (both Seattle locations) and a couple of places in SF. DTF were hands down the best. I almost drool thinking about them. The dumplings sagged, but didn’t break, under the weight of the filling.

Very funny!
He ran out of Peking Duck!

I vaguely remember Peking duck served with pancakes when I was young, but I couldn’t tell you where. Monterey Park, maybe? It was served with thin pancakes and hoisin sauce, and prepared by the waiters at table. I don’t recall buns at all.

It’s probably a generational thing. 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s were all mantou buns. I’m not sure when I first encountered the thin pancakes, but it was a total shock.

they were the only ones to get a +1 in the other thread IIRC. they remain my favorite.

since i’m thinking about it, the cheapest might be at kuans south of the 60in montebello - buy one tray get one free - but the free tray are all torn/folded/spindled/mutilated.

ding’s garden offers them, but they might be the weakest thing on what is a pretty solid menu. i suppose i would say the same for the old flavor garden now “Zui Xiang Yuan” and again for all the restaurants not yet mentioned that tout themselves as offering shanghai-ese cuisine like southern mini town, lake spring et al.

but the best non DTF rendition (graded on delicacy of wrapping and quality of soup) remains shanghai dumpling house for now in my book.


Thanks for the suggestion! I’ll definitely take a look at Happy Duck House!

And I think the main reason why I was not enamored with DTF’s XLBs is because the soup was room temperature, not hot. The texture of the wrapping itself was spot on I admit but the soup itself wasn’t that crazy experience so many people describe when eating XLBs. Maybe it was an off day; I’m definitely willing to give it another shot sometime. And I’ll take a look at Shanghai Dumpling House too for a point of comparison, if I’m ever in the area.

@chandavkl That’s super interesting; I was not aware of the cultural implications of the buns versus the wrappers. I have nothing against the buns in and of themselves but typically the buns are nothing special and kind of detract from the duck in my opinion. I assume I’ve only had sub-par buns, leading me to this aversion of the mantou bun.

@tailbacku Thanks for the suggestion, too! I’ll take a look at Duck House as well!

Great suggestions everyone! More than enough to start some research into both these dishes. Thanks!

1 Like

I used to enjoy the XLBs at Dean Sin World, but I also haven’t been there in a few years so I don’t know the current quality.


For great xlb I’d check out ROC on Sawtelle or Dings Garden, or Zui Xiang Yuan In SGV. For duck I’d check out Tasty Duck, Ho Kee Cafe or Beijing Duck House- all in SGV I believe. Enjoy and report back!

Beijing Duck House on Rosemead Blvd in the City of San Gabriel has been replaced by a Pho restaurant several months ago.

Dean Sin World is another good recommendation, with the same caveat from me. Mrs. Lu provided XLB to so many places, the odds were you had her XLB at other restaurants, so why not go to the source?

The XLB at Sawtelle ROC Kitchen is whack - It’s potentially the largest landmine on their minefield of a menu. It’s not even the best XLB within its own 1 block radius (Tasty Noodle House is exponentially better).

1 Like

Beijing Duck House actually closed in 2014! A Sichuan chain, Chuan Ren Bai Wei, was in the space from late 2014 until November 2017, when it became Pho Mai.

at the risk of thread drift, i was there a couple of weeks ago mainly because a friend’s family used to own the building decades ago.

the rolls seem to be predominantly iceberg lettuce

the pho ga…

the “everything” house special bowl

i don’t think i’ll ever go back.

Happy Duck House



Looks pretty ho-hum.