One of the best dining experiences I have ever had.
At a birthday party a few weeks ago I met a couple that, like me, love delicious, vegan food. I told them about how Mike and I have been looking for good dim sum since the place we loved closed during COVID, and they asked if we had ever been to Din Tai Fung.
Never been. Never heard of them. Seven years living here.
I told Mike about Din Tai Fung while we were talking about a place to go for lunch. We decided to give them a try. I made a reservation on their website and in an hour we were in line.
We went to the Santa Anita mall location, in Arcadia.
Our first interaction with staff was from one of the two hosts. She asked how many, and I said we had a reservation. “oh great”, she said. I had noted vegan deliciousness in the notes on the reservation and she told us that she was vegan and loved their vegan options. She also made some suggestions. Her kindness and friendliness made us feel incredibly welcome.
Before we knew it, we were being led to our table, by an equally friendly and kind staff member. Soon after being seated our server welcomed us. We had the order menu and began speaking with him about what we wanted to try. The host explained how the ordering system worked, that we would order everything and as they brought out a dish he would ask if it was OK to start the next one. This meant we could take our time.
We took our time.
We started with the wood ear mushrooms. I was surprised that they were served cold, and they were delicious.
Next were the vegan dumplings. Everything we ordered was of course vegan, I’m only using the word while describing what we ordered if the word is used on their menu. The dumplings were perfect. Great flavor. They are hand-made right there, daily. Not frozen.
Next were the vegan buns. These type of buns are something new to me living in the LA area. They have become one of my favorite foods. These did not disappoint. A mixture of veggies with tofu, perfect texture and flavor.
At this point, between the service and the food, we already knew were were in the midst of an amazing dining experience.
After the buns came the vegan spicy wontons. These were recommmended by the host who so kindly greeted us. A nice kick but not too spicy for us, two guys who normally order a “1” on spice level.
Winding down, our server brought us our last ordered item, the vegan noodles with sesame sauce. Loved these! We considered ordering a second dish of them but were getting full and wanted to try a dessert.
I’m super glad we tried dessert, the sweet taro XLB. Light, flavorful, fresh. Perfect ending to the meal.
As I wrote at the start of this review, this was one of the best dining experiences I have had. Impeccable hospitality and amazingly flavorful and fresh food. We will be back, soon.
For more information on Din Tai Fung, click here.