Taking over the former Italian Gusto space on Third Street, My Little Dumpling is a newer upscale dim sum dining experience in the Beverly Grove neighborhood. The menu features classic American fare with a global Asian twist.
Robert Mandler, the owner along with his son Anthony, is a successful Los Angeles restauranteur, since he founded Chin Chin in 1983. He introduced a modern Chinese chicken salad to L.A. and is known for his signature “dim sum and then sum.”
Anthony designed the light and serene interior of My Little Dumpling with comfortable green velvet banquettes, white marble tables, shiny brass fixtures and wood paneled ceilings.
A Chinese chicken salad is featured on the menu, a nod to Mandler’s famous Chin Chin salad. This father and son duo recently invited guest chef Mako Tanaka for a month-long residency in the kitchen. Mako is expanding the menu with a few new salads, including charred baby romaine hearts with a ginger sesame dressing, as well as heirloom tomato salad with asparagus and avocado glazed with a plum boba vinaigrette. A healthy protein option includes seared ahi tuna with a spring mix and bite-sized Super Sweet 100 tomatoes dressed with a yuzu and caramelized onion dressing.
My Little Dumpling has a bar near the back that offers beer, wine and a variety of hot and cold teas to pair with the shareable dishes.
The restaurant’s signature dish, a cheeseburger dumpling, is filled with ground beef, caramelized onions and pickles. It was cut into three pieces and served with an Asian-style lychee ketchup for dipping. For those seeking a vegan option, they make a Beyond Meat dumpling filled with vegan “meat” and cheese, caramelized onions and pickles. It’s quite good, especially with the lychee ketchup.
Another vegan and gluten-free option is the potato pancake, made with shredded purple sweet potatoes and a black vinegar sauce. It’s similar to an enhanced potato latke.
There are a few soup dumplings, including one filled with crab, pork, ginger and scallions. Another is filled with French onion soup, gruyere cheese and a crouton.
They also create innovative sandwiches using bao buns. There is a braised brisket with slaw and horseradish and a vegan Indian favorite, Manchurian Gobi, filled with cauliflower, garlic and Fresno chili.
Egg roll options include a delicious curried vegetable layered with mint chutney, lentil, carrots and cauliflower. One with an Asian twist includes the Reuben egg roll with pastrami, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing. They also make a wonton filled with cream cheese, lox, red onions and cherry tomatoes.
We finished with a fried rectangular dumpling filled with banana and Nutella. It was drizzled with raspberry sauce and a sprinkling of powdered sugar, a nice sweet treat.
Come in and try the fun dim sum dishes the Mandlers are creating at their newest endeavor.
My Little Dumpling is open seven days a week for lunch starting at noon. Dinner ends at 10 p.m. on weekdays, and the restaurant closes at 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $$ 8432 W. 3rd St., (310)450-9393.
This review was featured in the Beverly Press on August 22, 2019.