Monday, May 04, 2015

Google Knows it All

Maybe I'm the last person on earth to discover how much information is being collected about us by Google. I went onto Google maps to locate a dumpling shop in Arcadia. I located it and there, on the map, was my hotel reservation at the nearby Holiday Inn, which I made with the Holiday Inn reservation service. Google knows I'll be there on May 7th and May 8th and reassures me that nobody else has this information nor will it display on anyone else's Google maps. Spooky. I love the convenience but isn't that a bit much?

On Friday on our way home from hearing the LA Phil, we're stopping at Din Tai Fung at 1088 S. Baldwin Ave. (see map above) for dumplings to bring home. Din Tai Fung began in Taipei in the 50's. Richard lived there for five years in the 60's and he doesn't remember the particular dumpling house, but I'm betting it will seem familiar once we're there. Din Tai has been fantastically successful with restaurants in China, Singapore, Japan, U.S.,Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Canada. 

It's difficult to create a great photo out of dumplings, but here's a couple from the Din Tai web site. Those giant slices of truffle aren't going into the dumplings, I'm sure. A couple of tiny shavings would do the trick, but the stylist chose to put the truffs front and center. 

Din Tai Fung is Jonathan Gold's #58 pick out of the 101 best restaurants in LA. Here's his review:

The Din Tai Fung experience, it could be argued, is essentially that of waiting in line; the keen anticipation of xiao long bao, Shanghai-style soup dumplings, drawn out into a soft note of purest longing. The miracle is that when you finally pop the plump, round dumpling into your mouth, searing the top of your mouth when it bursts into a flood of fragrant broth, the moment is as exquisite as you'd dreamed it might be, although the flavor melts away far more quickly than the pain. XLB is a fixture on the menu of every restaurant that even pretends to serve Shanghai-style cooking in the San Gabriel Valley, but the version at Din Tai Fung, the first U.S. branch of the most famous dumpling parlor in Taipei, is on a level by itself. If you're into that sort of thing, note that the new Glendale location also offers XLB with truffles.

I wonder if Google will advise us on what to order to-go?

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