Per the LA Times (third item on page) this chain from Taiwan has franchise locations in Taiwan, China, and Hong Kong … and now, City of Industry.
Can someone please explain to me how a city with a population of under 300 residents is a good place to try such a venture? Am I totally missing something here … like, where’s the customer base? (Admittedly, I’ve not driven through the area in a bit; maybe it’s changed.)
City of industry is built as a city of commercial businesses. Hence the name. This restaurant is in a plaza with the Mall. So it’s not in the boondoks. It shares a building with Starbucks next to raising Canes and Krispy Kreme
There are a lot of outstanding Chinese restaurants in Industry. Most of them are on Gale Ave. and Colima Road which are major thoroughfares.
Thank you, @Clayfu and @chandavkl - I don’t think I’ve seen much other than the “industry” aspects of the city, hence my puzzlement.
With a 99 Ranch Market and many Chinese restaurants right across street.
The City of Industry started out with plans to be an industrial city, and has plenty of warehouses, but also shopping plazas. There is a large Chinese and Taiwanese population in Rowland Heights and Hacienda Heights, which are adjacent (and nearby Diamond Bar and Walnut). When we mention ESGV restaurants, they are usually in either RH or City of Industry.
There was a well-reviewed book on the beginnings and history of the City of Industry about a decade ago.
Those are all in Rowland Heights. The 99 Ranch, and the plaza across the street. The city boundaries of the City of Industry are, umm, interesting, to say the least. They are all over the place, though much of Gale is within the city limits. As chandavkl pointed out, there’s a portion of Colima Road that is within the boundaries of City of Industry.
Dropped by Bafang Dumpling today, and it is definitely a madhouse, though the mayhem is at least partially self-inflicted. Bafang was also profiled by Eater, with management comments that consistent with their location in the Puente Hills Mall street frontage on Azusa Ave. steps away from Starbucks and other mainstream eateries, Bafang was trying to crack the general fast casual market, competing with players like Chipotle, and indeed admitting to tweaking their recipes to American tastes. Horrors! However when I arrived, I was relieved to see that the shop was besieged by Taiwanese expats, hungry for a taste of Taiwan’s biggest dumpling chain, with nary a potential Chipotle customer in sight…
Though I arrived before 11:30am today (Monday), it was probably nearly a 15 minute wait to order. And then it was at least another 15 minutes before my order was ready. This makes no sense to me because the entire menu barely exceeds a dozen items. Famous for their potstickers and their dumplings, they only offer two varieties of each, “signature Bafang” and Kimchee, which means everybody coming through is going to be ordering primarily these four items. Of course I did not realize at the time how lucky I was because it turns out it’s not unusual to have to wait an hour in line to order, and then another 30 minutes to get your food, which just deepens the mystery of why it takes so long to get your food. So with such a drawn out wait to get your food, it’s no surprise that the line to place your order is so long.
The food itself is very good and the prices are extremely reasonable, which probably explains why so many people endure the wait. The signature Bafang potstickers are sold by the dozen and are excellent. No signs of the food having been adapted to non-Chinese tastes.
The signature Bafang dumplings are also very good, as are the signature Bafang noodles.
A dozen potstickers, a dozen dumplings and the noodles came to $25. I’d surely go back to Bafang if I didn’t have to wait in line.
the dumplings may be pre-assembled, but it still takes time to cook them - and it doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of cooking space back there. if they’re doing one order at a time, you’d have a major chokepoint there. even if you pre-cooked them, you’d need a place to store them to anticipate demand - and risk being stuck with a lot of leftovers - and the quality would suffer. i could see the fried dumplings being made en masse on the type of fryer you’d find in a typical greasy spoon - but it’s difficult to mass produce boiled items (like dumplings and noodles) and ensure even cooking.
Their second location is now open in Chino Hills next to 99 Ranch (not the one with the Cravings food court).
Commercial appliances that boil are actually very similar to fryers. The baskets are a different shape and there’s a tap that slowly refills the water.
We go to the Temple City location twice. Parking is a nightmare in the plaza with Bistro Na and Baekjong, I’ve started to just head straight to the underground lot.
We’ve pretty much tried the entire menu after a two visits and enjoy the thicker texture of the dumpling skins and chew of the noodles. Noodles are pretty no-frills. Not a huge fan of the pork chop since I prefer the crispy potato starch bone-in style. We noticed the fillings might be a little inconsistent sometimes with the ratio of meat and veg to vary.
Overall pretty tasty and kid loves it. We take home a bag of frozen dumplings for lunches during the week.
Nice! My mom was just telling me that they also have a La Michoacana at the Mall as well…
It’s in there, but you will also pay mall prices.
It’s a shame Santouka left the Brea Mall. We could have had some nice options once DTF goes in.
They have one in Del Amo. They are everywhere now!
Maybe the potstickers are better. I got the very basic pork and cabbage boiled dumplings as a barometer. Pork and cabbage or pork and leek is the most basic dumpling flavor. Wasn’t successful for me tbh. With food prices high I rather just go to a tried and true SGV place. I have a hard time believing this place is so damn popular in Taiwan. I don’t think any Ah Ma would approve. This is the Gardena location but I had a family member try the Hacienda/Rowland location and it was meh
Heard that! Have some other spots we should check out in SGV?
Ly Family Kitchen. 3.5 stars on Yelp but the dumplings, buns, and pies are legit. Shandong family so they know carby goodness. Maybe they could use some foodie media coverage.
Qing Dao Bread Food. Also Shandong spot. Dumplings and buns.
You can bring an ice chest or cooler to take home some frozen stuff too.
I’ll need to do a little crawl or mini bang bangs for updates on a few places. (You Kitchen, Hui Tou Xiang, Zui Xiang Yuan, etc)