Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dumplings @ Mama's Lu Dumpling House (Monterey Park)



One of the great tragedy of all time is to misspell the name of your restaurant. You will always be the butt of the joke whenever anyone passes by. You can't changed the menu or advertising after you spend so much money on printing the menus and fliers, even worse the sign on the door and above the restaurant pretty much stick it to you.

Mama's Lu reminds me a lot about of my mom. She'll just brush it off and tells me often to mind my own business whenever I would point out the obvious mistakes. She'll just shrugged it off and pretended the mistake was not there.

Let's just hope Mama's Lu have some good dumplings to make people forget about the error.

I was thinking of hitting a few dumpling joints around Garvey Ave to see where many of the Northern Chinese dumpling houses are located around. I tried a few like Northern Dumpling House (RIP as it goes through musical chair of ownerships within the past few years), Din Sin World, Qing Bao Bread Food, and the Noodle House.

To be all honest, Mama's Lu is my favorite out of that whole group on Garvey Ave & Garfield Ave area. It's a very small place with limited selections of items on the menu. What they have on the menu were all very tasty and very inexpensive.

One of my favorite about coming here was to order their Fried Green Onion Cake. It's crispy, but yet not flaky. The bread when fried the right way will still allow some elasticity to mold the green onion cake like a tortilla. It's one thing that I will always order to be my appetizer.


Fried Green Onion Cake

The noodle dishes depending on the moment when it served can be a hit or a miss. One of my favorite dish was their shrimp dumpling noodle soup. Just like a Shin Shen Gummi's ramen, you can manually adjust the spice level by adding your own condiments. I usually would add some soy sauce and some pepper to the soup. The restaurant pretty leave the soup base alone and let the customer decide on they wanted to adjust the soup.


Shrimp Dumpling Noodle Soup

Now comes the xiao long bao (juicy pork soup dumplings). They probably may not be the best compares to Din Tai Fung or Mei Long Village to name the few, but it is right up there with the group for that dumpling. They also have other dumplings which in my mind are excellent choices, especially their chives & pork dumplings which only cost $4. They also served a pork bun among the 11 dumplings dishes on the menu which was pretty good. In all, the restaurant have about 20 dishes listed on their one page menu.


Xiao Long Bao (Pork Juicy soup dumpling)

The Xiao long bao comes in two varieties. One with the pork, the other is a mixture of a pork & crab juicy soup dumpling. Either one will make a good choice as the skin retain the juices of the meat and does not fall apart when hold up by the chopstick. It may take awhile for this dish to arrive (20 minutes wait are the norm), but it is well worth the wait.

Mama's Lu doesn't get the same prop like the bigger boys such as Mei Long Village , Dragon Mark, or J&J restaurant on Valley Blvd. Majority of the dumpling dishes served here are within $4-5. The various noodle soup dishes and fat rice noodle cake dishes are in the similar price range also. Great for the whole family albeit it's a small place with only one big round table and 8 other smaller tables in the restaurant. Nonetheless, it's still a great place to get a meal that filled you up without lessening your wallet.

Everything they have done right so far except the name. What is a Lu?

Mama's Lu Dumpling House
153 E Garvey Ave
Monterey Park, CA 91755
(626) 307-5700

Grade:

Mama's Lu Dumpling House on Urbanspoon

Mama's Lu Dumpling in Los Angeles

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