photo credit: Vi V
P. P. Pop
At P. P. Pop, a barebones café in Monterey Park, the motto is: the bigger the group, the better. The menu is packed with fantastic Taiwanese snacks, like popcorn chicken, meat-laden beef rolls, and a spicy braised noodle soup we haven’t stopped thinking about since eating. But for the purpose of this guide, let’s discuss the xiao long bao. Every order comes with eight dumplings, which are served properly in a bamboo steamer, the soft, wet dough twisted up at the top in a way that resembles a smooch. The broth inside is slightly sweet, and goes well with the generous side of ginger provided. It’s also piping hot (be warned).
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