Saturday, February 27, 2010

One Plus One Dumpling House--West Covina, CA

As an early Valentine’s Day dinner Friday, February 12 we tried out One Plus One in West Covina. Known for their dumplings, the restaurant offers a free order of “Juicy Pork Dumplings” (also known as pork “xiao long bao”) with a $20 purchase. Reaching the $20 threshold proved no problem as we ordered crab and pork dumplings (another variety of “xiao long bao”), shrimp dumplings, braised beef noodle soup and the “House Special” noodle soup—that latter two featuring home-made noodles.

Overall, the dumplings were very good, with my only complaint being that the pork xiao long baos were slightly salty. All three varieties were hot, filled with soup and the xiao long baos passed the suspension test by holding their soup when held at by the crown with chopsticks. Yet, I didn’t find the skin to be too thick either. I counted 20 folds on top; the truly authentic xiao long baos will have 24. The shrimp dumplings were somewhat similar to traditional potstickers in form except there were clear pinch-folds along the top of the dumpling.

Full from helping me eat the 26 dumplings plus her own soup, my wife gave me the rest of her beef noodle soup, the broth of which I thought exquisite. Even though I was full myself, I couldn’t stop drinking the broth, which was flavored by the beef and spices. One spice I found in abundance was one very similar to star of anise.

The House Special was very simple, featuring noodles, bok choy, mushroom, shrimp and artificial crab in a chicken broth. While it might hit the spot on its own, especially on a cold day, it paled in comparison with the beef soup and the dumplings.

For our future visits to SoCal, it’s good to know we have this standby which can impress with so many different dishes. Also importantly, it sits in a mall that has plenty of parking (even on a Friday night), has ample seating and is inexpensive. We walked away filled with quality food for about $30.

This concludes the series on our most recent trip to SoCal. We've been to a few more places since then that I look forward to telling you about, so please stop by often!

One Plus One Dumpling House
Hong Kong Plaza
1017 S Glendora Ave

West Covina, CA 91790
(626) 338-6868