dean sin world / monterey park – los angeles, ca

These are the continuing adventures of Eating in Los Angeles! Welcome to Day 2, my friends.

I’ve seen a bunch of blog posts about this next place which is what in part convinced me to try it out. I was in full control of our dining itinerary in Los Angeles which means if I’m craving something, I will find a way to fulfill my craving.

Many moons ago when Alyssa lived in Pasadena, we went to some little Chinese restaurant in Arcadia called Noodle House (now closed) for “Chinese Breakfast”. We had the most amazing pork filled buns that were fried on the bottom – they were so delicious and so good. I was searching for something similar to what we had at the Noodle House so many moons ago – something not too far from our hotel and something with dumplings! In my search I found out about Dean Sin World and took Chris and Jake for dinner.

It was kind of hard to find this place – it’s on North Garfield Ave. and the direction we came from was on South Garfield Ave – which is the same street – and the numbers just start over at some point. It was totally confusing. I also wasn’t expecting it to be in a little strip mall with a bunch of other shops. Throw in the fact that every business around was in Chinese lettering and it was dark out, it was easy to miss. After driving up and down the street three times, I finally found it! Phew.

We sat down at one of the four tables (yes, there’s only four tables) in the restaurant. There was one other couple dining quietly next to the window and we sat down next to the register and I grabbed one of the bright hot pink menus to review the menu. I knew exactly what I wanted to order and was prepared to get it all.

When we sat down we were given these hot salted peanuts to munch on. There were really good! Warm peanuts are excellent and the saltiness just made them perfect. We had dishes of this stuff.

The woman that runs the place is a very nice Asian woman who doesn’t speak a lot of English. I pointed to each item I wanted and she would nod and say, “Yes!” with a bright smile on her face. I don’t remember what all of the Chinese names are of the items, so I’ll be calling them as they are listed on the menu. You can also point to the photos on the wall to let her know what you’d like to order. The photos are helpful!

This is the first item the Fried Buns (8 buns for $4.85).  I knew these wouldn’t be like the meat fried steamed buns I had at the Noodle House so many moons ago but they were still pretty darn tasty and ended up being my favorite item of the bunch.

They’re lightly fried on the bottom so the bottom is nice and crispy. They’ve got a juicy pork filling on the inside with a lovely bun wrapped around the pork. The bun is steamy, a little chewy and so good. There’s a sprinkling of black sesame seeds on top. I would have liked these to be a little crisper on the bottom but I still really liked these.

These are the Steamed Pork Buns (10 buns for $4.85). They come out super hot and steamy in these lovely little dumplings. I’ve seen these referred to as “Soup Dumplings” because of the hot broth and meat inside of the dumpling. If you just bit in, you’ll get broth all over your shirt (yeah, Jake did this. hehe).

I bit off the top of one of my dumplings to show the inside. There’s the big meaty pork ball with a bunch of the hot broth around it. I slurped the soup/broth off and then chowed down on the rest of the dumpling. I loved the flavor of the broth – warm and really flavorful with the hint of various spices. The dumpling was soft and chewy and the pork was just right. It was a meaty, delicious dumpling.

These I’m sure you’re recognize as potstickers or gyoza but on this menu they’re referred to as Fried Dumplings (8 for $4.80). These were also fried on the bottom for that nice little crispy edge and steamed the rest of the way. God, I love dumplings. These are also kind of soupy inside!

This last item was an on-the-spot addition. Jake saw that the couple next to us had this and he asked what it was and then ordered it. I believe they called it a “Beef Roll” but I didn’t see it listed on the menu. The closest thing I saw wasPan Cake with Beef ($4.99) but I have no idea if that’s the same thing. This was sort of a beef teriyaki with some cilantro inside of the roll. It was a little crisp on the outside and had a good flavor. This was Jake and Chris’s favorite item (Chris, sadly, didn’t like the food as much as us – he’d never had anything quite like this before and it was a big difference from the Chinese food he’s used to in Florida!).

I also got a Red Bean Sesame Cake ($1) (shown) and a Date Sesame Cake ($1) (no photo) at the end of our meal. I was about to take a photo of the Date Cake but the owner stopped me from taking the photo and brought out this cake which was much prettier than the other one. The red bean cake had the red bean filling with a crumbly outer crust which reminded me a lot of the hopia my mom likes to buy at the asian market or Filipino bakery.

I paid the bill and left her a nice tip because she was really sweet and nice to us and as I was leaving she stopped me and gave me two more sweet cakes for me to take home and hugged me goodbye. It was so cute!

The food here is handmade, delicious, fresh and very affordable. If you’re in the mood some of some tasty dumplings I recommend you check this tiny little place out! The Yelp review (on the link below) has some good photos of what the menu offers if you’d like to see what else they have to offer. Happy eating!

Dean Sin World
306 N Garfield Ave #2
Monterey Park, CA 91754
(626) 571-0636

Mon-Sun 9:30 am – 9 pm
Cash only

Dean Sin World on Urbanspoon


mary likes baking.

4 Responses

  1. kirbie says:

    I love this place! So glad to see you ventured here. It can be intimidating if you don’t know any chinese, but the prices are so cheap and the ladies are so nice. Yes the last one you had is translated as beef pancake. It’s usually translated as beef roll. For your steamed fried pork buns you might want to check out Shau May restaurant which was close by to where you were. Well it may be listed as Kang Kang if you look it up. There are several Kang Kang food court’s but the one in Monterey Park is still labeled as Shau May which took me forever to find as a result. Anyway, they serve these really famous steamed pork buns that are fried and they are really crispy at the bottom. I liked their version better than the ones at Dean Sin World. Here’s my post on it

    • mary says:

      Hi Kirbie – Thanks for the tips! I really wish we could get something like those steamed-fried buns down here but I haven’t seen any place that does them in SD. I’ll definitely have to check out your suggestions on my next visit up to LA. I haven’t seen any place yet that does them like the Noodle House so I’ll have to keep looking, but maybe your suggested places are just as good. I’ll just have to keep adventuring to more Chinese places to find great buns! Thank you!

  2. Dennis says:

    Sheng jian bao! I’ve been day dreaming about them since the ones I’ve had in Shanghai ten years ago… I still need to check both Dean Sin World and Kang Kang. Too bad they weren’t around when I lived in that part of the hood college days. Great pictures btw Mary!

    • mary says:

      Hi Dennis – I have a feeling I’ll be making some trips up to LA just to try more of these kinds of dumplings! Hopefully will get to check out Kang Kang too. Must compare… for scientific blogging purposes. 🙂

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