Oh DTF, how you’ve disappointed me so.

Din Tai Fung @ South Coast Plaza

3333 Bristol St. #2071 | Costa Mesa, CA 92626 | (714) 549-3388
While I’ve spent the last few years trekking my ass all the way up to Arcadia for the freshest soup dumplings in town, you’ve finally succumbed to the masses and opened up shop right here in my hood at South Coast Plaza.  Smart move since you’re now a bonafide heavy hitter with presence, bad move since you’re now just another dining destination in a SoCal super-mall.

The Vibe

While I never mind the 3-hour long wait (especially when I can precede said dinner with happy hour at Charlie Palmer’s with a bit of buzzed cardio shopping to follow) what I do mind is the newbie mentality/ can’t handle this crazy crowd/ on a regular Thursday night rush. The staff may be polite and courteous, but even that can’t save your lukewarm (shoulda been scalding) soup dumplings from my lukewarm (coulda been applauding) feelings about your latest venture.

 

On the Menu

Shanghai Rice Cakes with Chicken
CLAIM-TO-FAME Pork XiaoLongBao
Fried Pork chop
Cucumber Salad
Pork Fried Noodles

Shrimp and Pork Potstickers (ordered extra crispy) 
Seaweed and Bean Curd in a Vinegar Dressing
Shrimp and Pork Shao Mai
Shanghai Rice Cakes with Shrimp

This is the typical menu that I ALWAYS order at Din Tai Fung (Arcadia) except most of the dumplings were not served in the typical steam-bath fashion. You know, where your face gets a complimentary spa facial the minute they release that basket top. It’s usually quite the spectacle given that seconds after the intro, you dive right into the most deliciously decadent, heaven-on-a-spoon, savory soup and pork-filled dumplings outside of Taiwan!

 

Sauteed Mustard Greens with Ginger
Shrimp and Pork Dumplings
Pork Chop Fried Rice
Mixed Wontons in Spicy Sauce
Noodles with Spicy Sauce (sauce on bottom)
Wood Ear Mushrooms in a Vinegar Dressing
Spicy Beef Soup
Sauteed String Beans with Garlic

Sadly, only the desserts did it for me on this visit…

 

Sweet Taro XiaoLongBao 
Red Bean Rice Cake

Know Before You Go

Having just opened earlier this week on the upper level of the Sears wing in South Coast Plaza, expect to wait at least 3 hours for a party of 10+ since they don’t accept reservations. There aren’t any round table tops dedicated for large parties; they have to make the effort to push smaller tables together to accommodate. But don’t fret, you can leave your name at check-in and they’ll text you 15 minutes before you’re seated. That means plenty of time to walk around the mall, do a little shopping, and maybe even have a cocktail at nearby eateries while you wait.

They do have a full liquor license with a cute little bar in the main entry room; however these seats are saved primarily for guests dining at the facility. So unfortunately it’s not a first-come, first-served basis to simply order drinks, you must be a dining patron. As of now, the jury’s still out for DTF at South Coast y’all. I am a MEGA fan of the Arcadia location but seeing as how they’re decades into this dumpling business with a guaranteed 1hr minimum wait time no matter what day of week, I’m sure SCP’s location will be just as gnarly down the line.*

Din Tai Fung definitely deserves a visit though guys, go mid-week during lunch for the lowest wait times! Are you hungry yet???

Bon Appétit mes amis!

 

Author

19 Comments

  1. Awesome! I really love din tai fung's steamed dumplings and they're noodle and soups are so beautiful and so tasty! Love the look of the extra crispy dumplings, I've never seen it like that before and I'd love a big bite of that pork chop!

  2. Haha you're so poetic. It's too bad when your fav place lets you down! I remember being a regular at this Korean place in college and they let me down big time >.< But omg these pics make me soooo hungry! Looks so yum!

    Gina
    Pink Wings

  3. Bummer that you were disappointed with your favorite place, but I must say the pictures of the food look ridiculously good and if I lived anywhere near, I would definitely make the trip!

    Shannon
    Clothes & Quotes

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