The Missus and I were still hungry after having the Shengjiang Bao at Kang Kang Food Court on Christmas Eve. The Missus wanted some Xiao Long Bao, and I was craving some Lamb Jiaozi. Driving down Garfield, I thought why not get both...... and so we did.
Our first stop was Giang Nan, tucked away in the back of one of the seemingly hundreds of strip malls in the area.
It had been a while since we were last here, but we still considered the XLB here to be among the Missus's favorites. Still being early on on Christmas Eve, the place was fairly empty, though it had filled up by the time we left.
We also got an order of Pork Xiao Long Bao, which we enjoyed more than the pork and crab version.
This was as good as we had recalled. Wrappers of good thickness, not too thin, good soup to meat ratio, the soup not being too sweet. The meat was not overly processed, and was just soft enough to enjoy. Still under five bucks, this was a pretty good deal..... I had two, the Missus the rest, since She was the one who really wanted some XLB.
While we were eating, and enjoying our tea, a family of six arrived; an older gentleman, along with his wife, a younger couple, and two kids in their early teens. The family dynamic was pretty interesting.... you could tell some things right away. The younger couple, and their kids were obviously from out of town, you could tell by the way they dressed and acted. It was quite apparent that the woman was the daughter of the older couple. You could tell by the way the guy pretty much didn't say a word, and just tried to fade into the background. The older man turned to his wife and said, "I wanted intestine, and spicy Sichuan food, they don't have anything I like on the menu". The older woman made a little "chin nod" in the direction of their daughter and told the older man, "but we're eating Shanghai style, so let's find something." Aaah, they had come here for their daughter. The older woman started making suggestions to her daughter; "remember how much you used to like this?" "This was one of your favorites....." "You always enjoyed this dish...." All of which the young lady replied to in a indifferent manner. "Whatever you think..." "It's ok, order what you want...." The older gentleman entered "protest mode", by closing the menu, placing it on the table, dramatically crossing his arms, and looking off into the distance. Meanwhile, "Mom" kept trying her best..... Meanwhile the son in law stared stoically straight down at his plate, and the two kids kept on playing their handheld games oblivious to the drama unfolding around them......
The Missus suddenly felt bad, and called Her Mom. There were many times that She's been that "ungrateful daughter". Sometimes, we forget that there are people in our lives that are pleased by making us happy. In this dance, it's our responsibility to enjoy.... because just as we are receiving, we are giving.......
306 N Garfield Avenue
Monterey Park, CA 91755
We had considered having another order of XLB, but instead crossed the street, and headed on over to Qing Dao Bread Food. The Missus knows that I love the Lamb Jiaozi here. For the Missus, this is a little taste of Her hometown; Qing Dao. It also gives Her a chance to needle Her Mom, documented in my previous post on Qing Dao Bread Food. So of course, She was soon calling Her Mom on the phone again. While I enjoyed my lamb dumplings:
Of course the standard condiment is what I call the Missus's "little dish of memories", the pounded garlic in black vinegar. When the Missus was a child, it was always Her job to pound the garlic, a job She hated with a passion..... which now prompts a bit of nostalgia.
As I noted before, I love the lamb flavor, and there's a small amount of "soup" in these Jiaozi. The wrappers have what I call a "pillowy - pull" to them. Perhaps I'm just a little bit nuts when it comes to Jiaozi, but how can you blame me?
While we were eating, a very pregnant young lady entered carrying a toddler. It was obvious she was the daughter of the husband and wife team that runs this little shop. The Missus, overhearing their conversation had to laugh. When I inquired, the Missus told me, "the daughter told her parents that they should close up." The daughter had told the parents, "you should close up, nobody wants to eat in places like this on Christmas Eve, they all go to the big restaurants!" Well, I for one was glad that they were open on Christmas Eve.