Tonight I’m starting a new theme of posts “The Food of The World of Los Angeles.”
It’s my goal to identify, discover, enjoy and share unique foods which originate from various places around the world.
It’s an amazing time we live in, one where the globe has never felt smaller and America has never felt more diverse. While I might not be able to travel to all the places I’d like to see in my lifetime, through this project I hope to open up to new experiences and flavors and to take advantage of living in this huge, international city.
First up is Emperor Noodles in San Gabriel for some Shanghai style buns.
I first heard of this place through an LA Weekly article about Shen Jian Baos, or Pan-Fried Buns.
Since I basically fell in love with Baos on a trip to Japan a few years ago, I knew I had to check out the pan-fried version since pretty much everything is better fried up to a crispy golden brown.
The restaurant itself was decorated with all types of red furniture and decor, the cliental seemed to all be speaking in another language I assume to be Chinese, and the waitress was very helpful in taking my order, despite a pretty significant language barrier between us.
As you can see they are comprised of a white, fluffy dough toped with black sesame seeds that’s been seared slightly on the bottom with white sesame seeds. Each one was about the size of a peach, the outside soft and the bottom just barely crisp, creating good contrast of texture and flavor. Inside was a savory pork filling along with some very tasty (and very hot) liquid. I’ve had a fair amount of baos over the past few years, but these stand out because of their unique flavor and presentation. I was tempted to eat all four, but I resisted and the urge after two and saved the other two for some friends.
Overall? Good food, good price, pretty convenient location for me, so I’ll likely be back for more Shen Jian Baos or for some of the delicious looking soup the rest of the customers were enjoying.
For more info, check out Emperor Noodle on Yelp.