Saturday, October 10, 2009


Mama's Lu
153 E. Garvey Avenue
Monterey Park, CA 91755
(626) 307-5700

Upon hearing the name "Mama's Lu" one might wonder if someone's mother was named "Mama Lu." However, I have come to the conclusion that that is not the case. I believe the name makes reference to the Chinese word for stove (lu) therefore suggesting the food you order at the restaurant will be as good as that from your mama's stove.

And, this small inconspicuous restaurant lives up to its name. When my friends D and A invited me to go along with them and introduce A to some good Chinese food, I was more than delighted. In addition, the taste and value of the dishes we ordered at Mama's Lu were well worth the hour long drive from UCLA to Monterey Park. Not only did we leave with our bellies full and content for $10 per person, I also left with a nice little box of leftovers that are just as delicious the next day. I know because I just ate that lovely box of food. :) You know a restaurant cooks with quality ingredients when the food is still delicious after a day in the fridge.

Shanghai-style Rice Cakes
delicious glutinous rice cakes stir-fried with napa cabbage, red onions, shiitake mushrooms, carrots, and pork

The Shanghai-style rice cakes were the best I've had ANYWHERE although this might just be a matter of taste. The rice cakes were perfectly chewy while not being overly hard and they were infused with the wonderful flavor of the rest of the dish. I might have enjoyed the crunchy pieces of napa cabbage and juicy pieces of pork a little too much.

Shrimp, Chive, and Pork Dumplings
Wonderful freshly made skin that was chewy and tender filled with a juicy center of ground pork and a whole baby shrimp

Pork Fried Dumplings
The meat was just as tasty as any potsicker or gyoza I've ever had but the skin was a tad doughy

Juicy Pork Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao)
Well-made but with a center that was just a hint too sweet too me, however, at $4.99 for 10, who can complain? Although, I have to say it does not even begin to compare to those at Din Tai Fung in Taiwan! Those are my true loves!

Beef Wrap
with scallions, leaks, cilantro, and hoisin sauce

Scallion Oil Pancakes
Fried Green Onion Pancakes
Delightfully crispy and sinfully greasy! Delicious!


  1. Great pics! The beef wrap looks like it has more veggies than it normally does at other places. Sounds good, but I'd be afraid of bad breath afterward =)

  2. All of this... I WANT! I'm forever on a hunt for a US xiaolongbao that can compare to Ding Tai Fung's - have you tried the Ding Tai Fung in Arcadia? Good, but not Taiwan good.

  3. @ Jake E. I would imagine that the Ding Tai Fung in Taiwan CANNOT be beat! its my favorite!

    @nakedsushi you are spot-on! the veggies overwhelmed the beef and we all had a mildly unpleasant case of raw scallion breath afterwards

  4. just curious, but what do you think of the din tai fun in arcadia? how does it compare to din tai fung in taiwan?

  5. @ngobody: I've actually never been to the one in Arcadia but from what I've heard, it doesn't even come CLOSE to the ones in Taipei. Din Tai Fun in Taipei is absolutely amazing. I will be posting about it soon!