For the average diner seeking Asian food, their go-tos, more often than not, are Chinese and Japanese food. This is unsurprising, given that these two cuisines have been popular in the U.S. for a long time—we've been eating Chinese food since the 1800s! But Taiwanese food is a more recent import, and one that deserves to be explored. Luckily, LA is blessed with more Taiwanese immigrants than anywhere else in the country, and lately, people are beginning to discover this wonderful cuisine. Check out this guide for a taste of dan dan noodles, beef rolls, and xiao long bao served by LA's most iconic Taiwanese spots. They will not disappoint.
Photo Courtesy: jisu105
At the wildly popular Pine & Crane, Chez Panisse-alum Vivian Ku is serving classic Taiwanese dishes in a fast-casual setting with a serious commitment to seasonality and some personal flare. Stop by on a rainy day for a steaming bowl of noodle soup.
Potstickers, pea shoots, beef noodle soup, mapo tofu
Photo Courtesy: dintaifungusa
Situated in the glitzy Americana mall, this is the third US location of Taipei-based soup dumpling mega-chain Din Tai Fung. People around the world line up in droves for these dumplings and there's a good reason why. You should probably join them.
Pork xiao long bao, pork and shrimp wontons, sauteed spinach, noodles with pickled mustard greens
Photo Courtesy: Little Fatty
If you've never experienced Taiwanese-Chinese fusion, then move Little Fatty to the top of your list. Load up on scallion pancakes or duck pizza while relaxing in this casual, minimalist space, and remember to save room for dessert.
Taiwanese pork chop, Taiwanese Sunday Gravy, taro ice cream with fried sesame mochi balls
Photo Courtesy: catalystcake
Food TV personality Eddie Huang's hip Taiwanese eatery attracts just as many locals as tourists. Opt for assorted steamed and fried buns, adorned with "Haus" condiments, for one of the most satisfying and affordable lunches in town.
Birdhaus Bao, Chairman Bao, taro fries
Photo Courtesy: marksinla
Monja Taiker features an array of incredible Taiwanese dishes inspired by the night markets of Taipei. Dishes like succulent red grain pork and a saucy beef noodle soup put this spot on the map, but the entire menu is filled with delectable treats.
Red grain pork, beef noodle soup
Photo Courtesy: eatingreligiously
For a stinky tofu experience like no other, head to Tofu King in LA. This little shack is a hidden gem and a favorite among locals with a pungent odor that fills the streets and an authentic flavor that brings you back to the streets of Taipei.
Pork over rice, stinky tofu
Photo Courtesy: laotaostreetfood
Lao Tao serves affordable Taiwanese-inspired street food in a small homey counter-service spot. Dishes like Beef Ban Mien – noodles coated in eight-hour spicy bone marrow broth – will appeal to any crowd. On weekends, try the Asian-inspired brunch.
Beef Ban Mien, Chao Shou, Street Style Popcorn Chicken
Photo Courtesy: sgpgirl
With its vast menu, this intimate dim sum haven is ideal for feasting on dumplings, noodles, rice dishes, and other Chinese delicacies. The sizzling pans on display from the open kitchen add an element of theatricality to the experience.
Dungeness crab soup dumplings, Three Cup Chicken, scallion pancake
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