January 20, 2021 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Food Review: Soul-Warming Dumplings on the Westside

Simple yet flavorful soup dumplings from Dan Modern Chinese’s newest location

By Kerry Slater

A dumpling restaurant recently opened in downtown Santa Monica–its third Westside location–bringing simple yet flavorful Chinese food to the table.

This fall, Dan Modern Chinese opened in downtown Santa Monica at 1403 2nd Street. The restaurant–which also has locations in Sawtelle, Playa Vista and Pasadena–replaced short-lived ramen spot Ippudo that closed over the summer.

“Dan Modern Chinese is a modern take on traditional Chinese cuisine, featuring hand-made dumplings and noodles, wok-fried rice, vegetables and other delicious delicacies,” the restaurant’s website reads. “Here is a finesse to each dish on the menu which comes from the techniques used to prepare our food, and also the use of fewer ingredients, letting the food speak for itself. Dishes are flavorful and clean.”

Does Dan Modern Chinese’s self-assessment hold up to scrutiny? For the most part, yes, though like many restaurants amid the pandemic, the delivery process slightly hampers the final product.

I ordered for lunch two types of dumplings: pork xiao long bao (soup) and chicken steamed, each order containing five dumplings. The soup dumplings were by far the superior dish.

The rich and savory broth of the soup dumplings immediately filled my palate after biting into the delicate bao. There was just the perfect amount of ground pork inside the dumpling–enough to add texture while letting the soul-warming broth shine. Even though these dumplings were not piping hot upon arrival, they still travel well due to the thin dough (doesn’t get chewy) and just overall deliciousness.

The steamed chicken dumplings did not hold up during the delivery as well. The dough was thicker than the xiao long bao and without the added moisture of the broth, the steamed dumpling became a bit tough after the 15-20 minutes travel time. The chicken itself–also ground–was very delicious: lightly seasoned with spices I could not figure out. If these buns were fresh out of the steamer, they would be phenomenal, but that will have to wait a few months until in-person dining returns.

The baby bok cho was top-notch, almost as good as the soup dumplings. Cooked with a simple sauce similar to the soup dumplings and ample garlic, this is a dark leafy green that even vegetable-averse-kids may enjoy. In addition, there were a few cloves of caramelized roasted garlic, adding a memorable crunch of umami.

One of the highlights came at the very end of the meal: slurping up the remaining broth from the steamed dumplings and the bok choy. Even though it had become lukewarm, its soul-warming properties remained; a few sips of pure, flavor-packed comfort food.

The total bill was just under $30, pricey, but it could have easily fed two people for lunch. After six dumplings and a healthy serving of bok choy, I was full and have enough leftovers for lunch tomorrow. While there are cheaper options for Chinese food on the Westside, the quality and simple yet bold flavors of Dan Modern Chinese make it worth checking out when in the mood for dumplings.

Value: 6.5/10
Taste: 8/10
Quality: 8/10
———————-
Overall: 7.5/10

Related Posts

West Los Angeles VA Coronavirus Testing Ends

January 19, 2021

January 19, 2021

County shifting resources to Dodger Stadium vaccination site By Sam Catanzaro Local officials have ended COVID-19 testing at Jackie Robinson...

Edify TV: Ticketing Maskless Angelenos?

January 19, 2021

January 19, 2021

Los Angeles lawmakers want to fine people for not wearing masks. Learn more in this video made possible by School...

Man Pepper Sprays Person at Local Whole Foods After COVID–19 Confrontation

January 18, 2021

January 18, 2021

Incident occurs in San Vicente Boulevard Whole Foods parking lot last week By Sam Catanzaro A man peppered sprayed an...

UCLA Extends Remote Instruction and Work for Spring Quarter

January 18, 2021

January 18, 2021

To continue doing its part to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, UCLA will offer remote-only instruction for the...

LAPD Reports 59 Shooting Victims Within The First 2 Weeks Of 2021: Century City, Westwood Beat – January, 17, 2021

January 18, 2021

January 18, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * LAPD Reports 59 Shooting Victims Within The First 2 Weeks Of...

Video: 25K New Housing Units in LA?

January 17, 2021

January 17, 2021

With a massive spike in homelessness forecasted, LA lawmakers want to build 25,000 new housing units. Learn more in this...

Seven-Story Westwood Development Survives Appeal

January 17, 2021

January 17, 2021

City Planning Commission upholds approval for 31-unit Westwood Boulevard apartment development By Chad Winthrop A seven-story Westwood development has survived...

$50 Million Dollar Doomed Estate of Mohamed Hadid On Market for $8.5M

January 15, 2021

January 15, 2021

Today on Westside Cribz, Check on these top things for a safer home, Mohammed Hadid’s $50M dollar estate on sale...

Edify TV: The Westside’s Best Pies

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

Here are some of the best pies on the Westside ahead of National Pie Day on January 23. Learn more...

UCLA Returning To In-person Instruction By Fall 2021 Semester? Century City, Westwood Beat – January, 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * UCLA Returning To In-person Instruction By Fall 2021 Semester? * Study...

Iconic Jewish Deli Suddenly Closes Permanently

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

Westside Food Scene January 14, 2021 By Kerry Slater 65-Year-Old Santa Monica Bakery on Verge of Shutting Down  A beloved...

Food Review: Westwood’s Insanely Delicious Tijuana Tacos

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

Tacos 1986 in Westwood Village stands out amid a crowded taco scene By Kerry Slater In a city filled with...

Fatal Traffic Collision in Westwood

January 13, 2021

January 13, 2021

Collision occurs on Beverly Glen Boulevard Wednesday afternoon By Sam Catanzaro At least one person is dead following a Westwood...

Edify TV: Westside Kids Compete to Keep Beach Clean

January 12, 2021

January 12, 2021

Westside kids are competing to keep the beach clean! Learn more in this video made possible by Santa Monica College.