Move over, Din Tai Fung. There’s a new kid in town named Dan – Dan Modern. This Pasadena-based chain, specializing in handmade Chinese dumplings and noodles, opened their second location on Sawtelle.
Debuting during a pandemic is a challenge, and Dan Modern offered several days of free samples before their soft open. Not wanting to wait in a line outside (and then afterwards for food), I missed all of those opportunities, but ordered takeout the first chance I got.
Dan Modern has online ordering for takeout and delivery, with contactless pickup. Since they were not open for dine in, I was only able to get a glimpse of their kitchen and light wood modern interior.
The pork xiao long bao, five to an order, looked just like the ones at Din Tai Fung, delicate and expertly pleated. Unfortunately, they were a little on the cold side when I got home, and I was too hungry to reheat them. They were good, with quality pork filling and lots of juice.
The pan-fried dumplings were fried on all sides, not just the bottoms, served with a sweet and spicy sauce. They were packed with greens (I think it was spinach), not some cheap filler.
If you like crab, the crab fried rice is not to be missed, with a generous amount of the crustacean in the dish.
My favorite dish was the veggie dan mein noodles. The name was a little misleading since it says dan mein, which might make one expect a spicy peanut sauce. Instead, the thick chewy noodles came with a tasty sweet sauce and were surprisingly not greasy.
Dan Modern’s care in preparing food using high quality ingredients and less oil is a refreshing change. Prices are higher than other Chinese restaurants, but it’s the Westside. Dan Modern is a welcome addition to Sawtelle and a great alternative to avoiding the crowds at Din Tai Fung.
Location –2049 Sawtelle Blvd,, Los Angeles, CA 90025
Website – https://danmodernchinese.com
Kid’s Menu – No
Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly – Yes
Gluten-Free Options – Yes