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Din Tai Fung
Truffle dumplings are a Din Tai Fung specialty

Until now, eating authentic Chinese food meant an hour-or-more trek to the San Gabriel Valley. We love a steaming shu mai as much as the next lady, but that?s a lot of driving. Now world-class dim sum is as close as the mall--Taiwan-based Din Tai Fung just opened at the Americana at Brand.

This Din Tai Fung is about as far from strip-mall takeout as a Ming Dynasty vase is from an imported trinket--heck, its sister locations in Asia have even been awarded a Michelin star. As you walk into the sprawling 160-seat aerie, you pass geometric wooden screens, glass walls and a fishbowl kitchen where chefs meticulously roll dough. At your table, you consult the picture-heavy menu and friendly waiters, and then order from a wide range of dishes (most between $7 and $10) meant to be shared family-style.

The crown jewel of Din Tai Fung?s hot-and-spicy empire is steamed pork dumplings that burst with brothy goodness in your mouth. Other standouts are pleasantly garlicky sautéed string beans, pickled cucumbers and hearty chicken, pork, shrimp or vegetable noodles with rice cakes folded into them.

Believe the hype: It?s dim sum-thing special.

Din Tai Fung, The Americana at Brand, 889 Americana Way, Glendale; 818-637-8982 or

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