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It was a gray drizzly day, and after a fully day in the craziness of DTLA swerving to avoid pedestrians weaving in and out of numerous encampments of tent cities, I felt nauseous, both emotionally and physically. The new Playa Vista enclave Runway is nearly the polar opposite of DTLA; from the manicured play spaces for children and pets, to the wooden plank walkways that meander through restaurants and shops, this was like a breath of oxygen after being submerged in smog. I am not saying that I would want to live in Runway because I prefer a less curated environment, and one in which there are shops and restaurants which have no other sibling outposts across the city, state, or globe. I am glad I finally visited, walked, and ate here, and I would again.

We ate at R.O.C., which has the much smaller sibling on Sawtelle. Service was fantastic, and the food definitely had a Californian take, using fresh ingredients with middle of the road dishes and flavors that don’t venture too far into unknown anglo territory. It was not Michelin star quality, but better than many other Taiwanese restaurants.

Because I was feeling queasy, we began with an egg flower soup with tofu, bamboo shoots, and fresh herbs. It was a perfect comfort soup for a gray day, and it promptly settled my stomach enough to eat the chicken soup dumplings.

The tips of soup dumpling were a bit thick and hard, drying out and hardening more as they cooled, but the flavor was nice and they served it with freshly cut ginger with tableside black vinegar and soy (but you had to ask if you wanted any chili oil).

The vegetable potstickers came with pure hoisin sauce and chili sauce on the side. They were crisp and VERY hot, but the filling was a bit bland and definitely anglified chopped greens.

The stir fried baby bok choy were crunchy and tender, but the flavor was very light on the garlic and slightly sweet.

The pickles were fabulous! Brightly acidic and slightly spicy, we ate nearly the entire dish.

We also ordered the three cup chicken, which was done with all dark meat, and quite tasty, even with the slightly sweet sauce, it married the peppers, onions, and basil well.

It’s fun to explore the extremes of Los Angeles, from the frenetic pace of skid row to the fantasy land of a complex built to create a new neighborhood. There are good and bad aspects in both, just as there are good and bad aspects of all humans, wherever they live, play, and eat 🙂

My motto has always been that I will travel for great food, and in Los Angeles traffic, driving over 30 miles on the 405 may take several hours, so I strategically planned my trip to the Dim Sum Company between lunch hour and rush hour. I checked traffic on Google maps before heading out to make sure there were no accidents or construction delays, and made the round trip in 90 minutes, which is the best time I could have made during hours when they would be open!

They sell Dim Sum all day in a fast casual space inside the huge My Thuan Market in Westminster. The quality of ingredients and the freshness is remarkable for the prices, so do not expect any fancy presentations (everything is sold in take away containers) or service other than behind the counter, so you get into line cafeteria style, pay, and seat yourself if you wish to eat there.

I ordered enough to feed several people because I went hungry and I wanted to taste everything! Most items are sold several pieces for one order and most orders were around $3 each, so you will probably be stuffed if you order more than $10 worth of food!

Of course I had to order the classic xiu mai with pork and shrimp ($3.45 for four). They are about TWICE the size of other xiu mai and LOADED with shrimp and pork as you can see from the second picture! Even the wrapper was flavorful and tender 🙂

I don’t know what these are called in English, but like everything else for sale, you may simply point and tell them how many you wish to order. they are chewy fried balls filled with ground pork with other goodies that take me back to my childhood dim sum outings in NYC. The receipt says they are BB Nuong and they were $2.95 for three pieces.

My only disappointment was their chicken feet, which were falling apart tender, but bland despite their colorful appearance.

Probably my favorite was the baked BBQ Pork bun, three to an order and only $2.95! As you can see from the second picture, the ratio of BBQ pork is about HALF the bun! Very tasty filling, and nice consistency to the pork bun.

I came for the sticky rice after seeing the pictures on Instagram. At $2.95 per order, you get two pieces, and they are extremely fragrant and chock full of goodies, just like my aunt used to make, but the rice was almost like plain rice, not very sticky, and more like eating a rice bowl than a sticky rice Xoi la Sen.

I am glad I have plenty of leftovers to reheat the next time I crave Dim Sum without having to calculate the drive to Westminster!




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