Friday, March 9, 2007 9comments No tags Permalink 0

Spring break starts tomorrow and I’m flying home to the land where the sun shines, the food is good and the tap water is even better! But before going back home, Trisha and I had one last pre-break hurrah over xiao long baos at J&J Restaurant in San Gabriel. After a recommendation from Henry and reading about Krik’s adventure as well as a review on LA & OC Foodventures, I decided, that yes, it was about time I pay a visit!

I really owe it to my high school friend Trisha, who has been extremely nice about the long drive from Claremont (and she’s taking me to the airport tomorrow!). We arrived here around 7pm and the restaurant was completely full with a waiting line on a Thursday night. It’s not that big, but still, that must say something!

Our order of scallion pancakes ($2.25) came cut into quarters, a brilliant crisp brown, flaky with layers that seemed to have been rolled endlessly over and over and bits cuts of scallions tucked between. Pan fried to a greasy goodness that could easily replace my love for curly fries, I ate my share of the savory glory and threatened to take over Trisha’s. Yes, it left many grease marks along my lips and dozens of napkins, but it was greasy in a nicest, most necessary way possible.

The pork xiao long baos ($4.95) came 10 to an order, and while they were picture perfect, my heart still lies with Joe’s Ginger in Manhattan’s Chinatown. Still, these satisfied my craving for sweet nuggets of tender meat wallowing in a bath of soup. I bit into the skin carefully, looking in, hoping, praying for the sight of sweet, rich juices. And to a slight letdown, I found some, though not much juice. However the skin was thin and supple, and the pork was steaming hot, sweet and seasoned just so. It’s not perfect, but far superior to what you’ll find at the nearby Din Tai Fung.

But who is to complain when the order of Pan Fried Baos ($5.25) comes riding to the table, in a lucky 8 family. “Like mini manapuas!” I thought. Indeed, only these are fried to a crispy brown on the bottom. The pork based innards are sweet like the xiao long baos, only bigger and meatier! They are deceiving filling, owing to the thickness of the buns. Trisha could only make it through three baos, and I alas, being the Chinese-who-can-waste-no-food, went to finish the other five and then insisted we get double scoops of ice cream at Lee’s Sandwiches after. No wonder my belly is sticking out now!

Well I’m very full and even more happy if that’s possible. I think I’ll take a nap before we leave 5am tomorrow! :) Hooray for Hawaii!

J&J Restaurant
301 W Valley Blvd. #109
San Gabriel, CA 91776
(626) 308-9238

  • Chubbypanda
    November 30, -0001

    Bah. You’re probably one of those thin people that will hibernate for three days on what you ate. =)

  • anonymous
    March 9, 2007

    You know you just kill me with these irresistable food pics/posts. Those look so good!!!! Have a great time back home and “yay” to the tap water! I say that because my ti plants have been suffering from the fluoride-heavy water here, so I’d better start giving it the bottled stuff.

  • Anuhea
    March 9, 2007

    You’re lucky, my spring break doesn’t start for another couple of weeks…but you are coming home…I’m sure you’re very happy! How long are you back for? And I expect some reviews of local places I haven’t tried :P

  • KirkK
    March 9, 2007

    Hey Kathy – Have a wonderful spring break! We thought the ratio of soup to meat in the XLB at J&J were a bit off too…..

  • Kathy YL Chan
    March 10, 2007

    Hey Rowena!I wish my spring break could be extended to at least a month, hehe! It wasn’t till I moved to NYC that I realized how much we take Hawaii tap water for granted. I’m crossing my fingers for your ti plants! :)Hey Anuhea!It feels so good to be home! I’m back for a week – mostly to pack cause we’re moving to Manoa at the end of the month (but eating is still on the agenda, of course, hehe)! I had these really awesome bagels today…will go work on the post now! ;)Hey Kirk!Thanks! I’m still waiting for the perfect xlb filled plump and full of juice! we noticed nearly everyone was eating the stirfried rice cakes you ordered…I wanted to, but there was no more stomach room! :)Hey Chubbypanda!Bah! no fair! i just digest and then head out for the next meal! though the digesting part is slowing down…16 pounds in one school year. i think all this blogging is to blame for it, hehe :)

  • hellokitty893112
    March 10, 2007

    I envy you…you and Robyn actually have spring break and I have classes. Oh well, at least you’re going back home and you get to drink better tasting water and sun. Woohoo! :)The buns looks yummy.

  • Shannon
    March 10, 2007

    you’re moving THIS month????? where in manoa!?!? closer to meeee yay!

  • Kathy YL Chan
    March 10, 2007

    Hey Tina!You don’t get a spring break?! that’s so unfair :(…hehe, i think you deserve another bouchon sticky bun, and maybe a macaron or three! ;)Shann!I’m packing right now! We’re going to rent this place in manoa (very close to aimee’s home and the manoa marketplace), while we’re rennovating another place that we bought for permanent. yay! and since we seem to be the only ppl who’ll be here this summer, it’ll be fun living close to each other! (and even closer come fall, haha…can’t wait for new dishes and cups and knives!)

  • Louise
    June 17, 2009

    Did you enjoy the pan fried baos? I actually just had some right now for lunch but from elsewhere. I only buy them from this place called Kang Kang Shao Mei in Alhambra on Valley Blvd and Garfield Ave. I think they make it the best…at least from my experience :)

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