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Restaurants & Bars 20

dim sum...new star rising? Joy Luck Place (San Mateo)

tuna belly | Aug 18, 200512:53 PM

This past Sunday, we headed to Joy Luck Place (88 E. 4th Ave., San Mateo, 343-6988) to sample the dim sum, after being informed that a new head chef with serioues pedigree (in the U.S. for one year, coming from a top dim sum restaurant in Guangzhou), had taken over the helm.

We had not sampled this place before, but apparently the dim sum previously was of mediocre quality. Our tour through the offerings, however, led us to a unanimous conclusion that it rivaled anything else any of us had sampled in the Bay Area. My friend from NYC proclaimed it on a par, if not better, than the very best places in Flushing, etc.

The pastries, in particular (for which this chef is well known), were remarkable. The dan ta (egg custard, and please pardon my romanization) were exquisite. All other offerings were exceptional. One dish, sent out by the chef and unfamiliar to me, had small crescent-shaped dumplings, deep fried with a light crunchy skin, a filling of shrimp, cilantro, etc., that were to be placed in an accompanying rich broth and downed with a spoon. Delectable. Long, thin pastries filled with chau siu were similarly wonderful. Not one selection disappointed.

Wondering if any others out there have been in the past few weeks? If not, I highly recommend it. By the way, it seems like a perfect place for a weekday lunch. The line was out the door when we were there, but the manager said weekdays are far more manageable.

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