There are four U.S. locations of the famous Taiwan Din Tai Fung dumpling house—three of them in the Los Angeles area and one in Seattle.
They're most famous for their soup dumplings, or xiao long bao. At the third location, in the Glendale Galleria mall, you can see the chefs forming the dumplings behind glass as you walk in—rolling out the dumpling skins, filling them with a pork-and-gelatin mix, and then pinching them closed into that familiar pleated shape. When cooked, the gelatin melts into soup.
I've eaten my share of xiao long bao, mostly at dumpling houses in San Francisco, and these were certainly worthy of the raves. The skin was noticeably thinner—almost like tofu skin—yet had enough strength to not break as you lift them out of the steamer with chopsticks. The filling is delicate and fresh.
The menu is expansive, certainly not limited to soup dumplings. There's almost guaranteed to be a long wait for tables on weekends, starting when it opens at 10 a.m. (They open at 11 a.m. on weekdays.) Get there early and give them your name and cellphone number; you'll get a text you when your table is ready.