I was in Southern California over Memorial Day Weekend (visiting from San Francisco) mostly to go camping with some friends in Joshua Tree. However, no trip to LA is complete without a few stops for food in the city (most of the weekend was spent eating cheddar cheese and granola bars). We left the park on Monday morning and wanted to get something to eat in the Inland Empire area, and thanks to recommendations on chowhound we ended up at Ravi's India Cuisine in Colton.
Ravi's was easy to find, and it was a pretty nice place. I was very excited about the South Indian food (which there is less of up in San Francisco). Two of us had the Ravi's Special, which consisted of one idli sambar and one masala dosa. My other friend had the moong dosa, which is a dosa w/ onion, green chili and cumin seeds.
The idli sambar was very good....the sambar here is very souplike and not too spicy, with plenty of vegetables. The idli was served inside the sambar, so it was soaked through. It had a nice texture, didn't fall apart too much in the broth.
The masala dosa was very good...the dosa itself was very crisp, basically perfect. I found the filling to be good, but not amazing. It could have definitely been spicier and more flavorful. Still, this lunch combo was a great deal for $5.99.
My friend's moong dosa was wicked spicy....the green chilis were practically raw and in small chunks (I had thought they would be more chopped up and even incorporated into the batter). So I didn't love it. He liked it though.
I also had a chai tea which was excellent and very authentic.
Overall, this is a great find, and a very nice stop for anyone who is driving between Palm Springs/Joshua Tree and the Los Angeles area.
1091 S. Mount Vernon Av - Colton California
Closed on Tuesdays I think.
Just off the 215 Freeway, very near the 10 as well.
By Monday evening, one friend had left, so my other friend and I needed to figure out dinner plans for dinner between Duarte and LAX before I got dropped off at LAX for my flight back to SFO. I looked up some Chinese possibilities on chowhound, and narrowed it down to two dumpling places: Dumpling 10053 and Dumpling House Restaurant. I wasn't able to decide between the two, so like any good chowhound should, we decided to go to both!
We started out at Dumpling 10053 where we had two orders of dumplings.
The pork, crab and sea cucumber boiled dumplings were really good. Very nice balance of flavor, perfect dough (nice and thin). I had never tried this combinaton of filling before, and I thought it worked really well.
However, the stars were the Shrimp with Tender Leeks Boiled Dumplings. These are officially the best shrimp dumplings I have ever had. The dumplings were cooked perfectly, the texture of the shrimp filling was perfect, and the flavors of the fresh shrimp and leeks combined wonderfully. These things are really stellar. I told the woman in charge (manager/owner?) that she should open up a branch in San Francisco.
After this, we drove to Dumpling House Restaurant, about 5 minutes away. Here we ordered the fish dumplings and Za Jiang Mien. The fish dumplings were excellent, though after being so blown away by the shrimp dumplings at 10053, it was hard to be too impressed. Still, very well prepared and a nice combination of flavors here too. The dough was less delicate, a bit thicker than 10053, but still very nice.
The Za Jiang Mien was good, but nothing too special. I have had this dish at other places before and it's always good, but maybe not my favorite. The noodles themselves were homemade and very good.
10053 Valley Blvd. @Baldwin Av.
El Monte, CA
Dumpling House Restaurant
5612 Rosemead Blvd
Temple City, CA
626 309 9918
Both are closed on Tuesdays. Thank goodness it wasn't Tuesday.
So, I was nice and full by the time I got to the airport on Monday night. I ended up getting bumped (lucky me) and put up at the Hilton @ LAX where I ate at the breakfast buffet in the morning (18 dollars - i had a voucher). I wasn't impressed. I thought it was nice that they had both a Japanese and American buffet section, and the miso soup was decent, but overall I thought nothing was very fresh and there was very little buffet turnover, which led to an unexciting buffet. Better to stick to the regular menu when eating breakfast at the LAX Hilton.
Thanks to everyone on chowhound LA....if it weren't for you guys, I wouldn't have found any of these places. I'm already looking forward to my next visit to your city.
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