Feb 2010

Dim Sum Truck – Los Angeles


Fellow street food lovers: Meet the Dim Sum Truck. It’s the newest (and steamiest) meals-on-wheels venture to grace our fair city. The truck’s official debut is still a few days away, but The Astronomer I were fortunate enough to attend a sneak peek at the T-Lofts in West Los Angeles this weekend. I have a feeling that this truck is going to be mobbed once it hits the street, so it was quite a treat to scope it out before the hoards queued up.


The guy behind the wheel is Alex Chu, a USC grad (’09) with an entrepreneurial spirit, chill demeanor, and  megawatt smile (his dad’s a dentist). Prior to joining the pack of Twittering trucks, Mr. Chu interned at BLT Steak and worked as a server at Sino Restaurant in San Jose.

The Dim Sum Truck was the vision of one man, but it took a village to launch it successfully. To assist with recipe development and vendor contacts, Mr. Chu enlisted the help of family friends working in the restaurant business. To create the truck’s distinctive logo and modern style, he recruited his tech and design-savvy high school mates. The team effort resulted in a truck that’s not only pleasing to the eye, but pleasing to the palate as well.


We started the tasting with a trio of parcels—shu mai, har gow, and a chive and shrimp dumpling. Served straight from the steamers, each one was hot, fresh, and packed with the good stuff. What made this dim sum experience different from others was Mr. Chu’s secret sauce. Salty, garlicky, and even a little spicy, this condiment made the dumplings shine and the flavors pop. I didn’t miss the lack of soy sauce or chili oil one bit.


Next, we dug into some sticky rice with sausage and mushrooms. The fist-sized package was wrapped in fragrant lotus leaves. Similar to the dumplings, the flavors and textures were totally spot on.


The final savory sample was a traditional turnip cake. The sides were seared and golden, while the innards were slightly creamy. The Astronomer thought that this was one of the better versions of the dish that he has eaten.


For dessert, Mr. Chu busted out the blow torch! Who doesn’t love dinner and a show?


The bad ass blowtorch-action resulted in an egg tart/crème brulée hybrid that was out of sight. The crust was properly flaky, while the filling was sweet and rich. The sesame ball had a lovely glutinous texture and was filled with smooth lotus paste.

All of the offerings that we tasted this afternoon wouldn’t be out of place served in the dim sum halls of the San Gabriel Valley. I really appreciated that there wasn’t any skimping on ingredients or watering down of flavors on board the truck. Nothing beats an authentic dim sum experience with squeaky carts and the bossy ladies driving them, but when a craving hits and you’re west of downtown, the Dim Sum Truck will surely do.

Follow the Dim Sum Truck on Twitter @DimSumTruck.


India Jones Chow Truck > Dim Sum Truck > World Fare Bustaurant < Border Grill Truck > Cool Haus > Lomo Arigato > Don Chow > Kogi > Marked 5 > Dosa Truck > Phamish

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30 thoughts on “Dim Sum Truck – Los Angeles

  1. I think I could be convinced to give food trucks another chance just so I can try this one. It helps that I like saying “dim sum.” For some reason it always makes me think of Sleepless in Seattle because Walter starts singing “Dim sum… dim sum…” when Annie suggests getting it in NY. He also asks, “Does it have wheat?”

    Oh Walter.

  2. Rivers – For dumplings, three-of-a-kind for $2.50. Pretty darn reasonable, I’d say. By the way, the truck isn’t trying to lure regular dim sum-goers away from the banquets. Its aim is to introduce the cuisine to the uninitiated.

  3. What a great idea for a truck! I continue to be amazed with all the trucks that pop up. I want that sticky rice and the sesame ball. I can’t wait to find this truck and enjoy a quick meal.

  4. It is unlikely that the truck will lure away the regulars of dim sum restaurants in the San Gabriel Valley. The main target of the venture is most likely to be people who have never tried dim sum before. I guess this is actually a great idea to expose more Chinese food to westerners.

  5. oh yum. kind of sad, but i’ve never had dim sum. i keep missing opportunities. enough is enough. as soon as lent is over i will tweeter these guys down! unless you wanna organize an dim sum partay 😉

  6. Cathy, I’m so glad you like the Dim Sum Truck! I really enjoyed Alex’s dim sum. I have a really good feeling about LA’s next great food truck!

  7. They don’t need to lure me away from traditional dim sum. That’s an experience as well as a meal. A dim sum truck means I could grab dim sum quickly, without the production involved in gathering my friends and sitting at a table for 2 hours.

    In short: sold!

  8. I’m so happy I don’t have to trek to the SGV for dim sum (provided that Dim Sum Truck frequents the west side more…)! I was a that sneak peek as well but missed out on the turnip cakes which are one of my fave dishes. 🙁

  9. The food would have easily beat some SGV dim sum restaurants that’s for sure as I can see in the photos. Definitely going to get popular :).
    Blow torch on egg tarts? Cool! Great addition to the LA area.

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