Lin's is run by the same team that run The Place Restaurant on Granville and 64th (?). Those in touch with the Chinese food word-of-mouth will know The Place as a great hole in the wall that serves great northern delicacies - notably their great xiao long bao (XLB).
Well, they have branched out and Lin (co-owner) recently opened up her own restaurant near the corner of Broadway and Granville. It occupies the space that Galing-Galing (the Filipino 'turo-turo' restaurant) used to occupy.
The management has made an attempt at upscaling - the space is cleaner and more 'designed' than The Place. The menu is different, but offers the stuff for which the The Place is famous - steamed buns. They also serve some adapted Sichuan, some typical Cantonese, and other assorted regional dishes. (Lin is reported to be a trained Sichuan chef - so I will make an effort to try some of the other Sichuan dishes). They have an inexpensive lunch menu - the run-of-the-mill dishes with rice. I recommend not bothering with those.
So far I have had the dan dan mian (here, a Northern adaptation of the Sichuan hawker noodles - this one uses a deep, sweet, toasted sesame sauce as a base); the XLB (great); Pork and Chive buns; and the Sesame Flat Bread. All of the dishes were very tasty and a cut above your typical Cantonese style Chinese small restaurant.
I have been there twice. The first time, the service was a bit chaotic as a result of (from my estimation) some inexperienced FOH staff. The second time I was there, the service was prompt and efficient. I chalk it up to the newness of this place.
With all the foot traffic and transit stops here, Lin's has the potential to succeed at this location. Check it out.
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