July 29, 2021 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

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

Police Investigating Fatal Crash, Shooting in Venice

July 28, 2021

July 28, 2021

Details remain murky surrounding Tuesday morning incident  By Sam Catanzaro Police are investigating a fatal car crash and possible related...

Venice Community Housing Receives Honor From American Institute Of Architects: YO! Venice Show – July 27, 2021

July 27, 2021

July 27, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Venice Community Housing Receives Honor From American Institute Of Architects *...

Homeless Advocate Arrested Near Venice Bridge Home Shelter on Suspicion of Dealing Drugs (UPDATED)

July 26, 2021

July 26, 2021

65-year-old Garry Featherstone accused of selling meth, PCP By Sam Catanzaro A self-described homeless outreach advocate was recently arrested near...

63-Year-Old Man Killed in Westchester Tent Fire

July 22, 2021

July 22, 2021

LAFD investigating Wednesday night incident  By Sam Catanzaro A 63-year-old man died in a tent following a fire in Westchester...

Bonin’s Encampment to Home Moves 131 Homeless Into Housing: YO! Venice Show – July 19, 2021

July 19, 2021

July 19, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Bonin’s Encampment to Home Moves 131 Homeless Into Housing * LAFD...

Unidentified Skeletal Remains Found in Ballona Wetlands Amid Search for Missing Person

July 19, 2021

July 19, 2021

Authorities make discovery amid search for Kolby Story this past Friday  By Sam Catanzarto Unidentified skeletal remains were found Friday...

Beach Closures Lifted After Sunday Discharge of 17 Million Gallons of Raw Sewage From Hyperion Plant

July 15, 2021

July 15, 2021

17 million gallons of raw sewage discharged from Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant Sunday Night By Sam Catanzaro Beach closures have...

Edify TV: Local Cafe Supporting Foster Youths

July 14, 2021

July 14, 2021

La La Land Kind Cafe recently opened its first California location in Santa Monica, delivering not only unique coffee and...

Atlanta Restaurant and Lounge Eyes Washington Ale House Space

July 14, 2021

July 14, 2021

Fin & Feathers files for liquor license at 13484 Washington Blvd  By Kerry Slater An Atlanta-based restaurant and lounge self-described...

Petition for Recall of Councilmember Bonin Approved for Circulation

July 13, 2021

July 13, 2021

Signature gathering phase now set to begin after Tuesday approval by City Clerk  By Sam Catanzaro The Los Angeles City...

Deadline Extended For Unhoused To Move Belongings Off Boardwalk: YO! Venice Show – July 12, 2021

July 12, 2021

July 12, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Deadline Extended For Unhoused To Move Belongings Off Boardwalk * Pedestrian...

Hyperion Spill Discharges 17 Million Gallons of Raw Sewage Into Santa Monica Bay

July 12, 2021

July 12, 2021

Sunday night spillage occurs 1-mile offshore from Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant By Sam Catanzaro 17 million gallons of raw sewage...

IPO Cosmetics Launches The World’s First 4Step Facial Kit

July 10, 2021

July 10, 2021

It’s Perfect On Introduces a New, Convenient, Portable and Eco-Friendly Skincare Option By Staff Writer What if you could get...