S. Irene Virbila Big on BierBeisl; Gold’s Mutant Dumplings at Wang Xing Ji

By
Kitchen seats at BierBeisl.
Kitchen seats at BierBeisl. Photo: BierBeisl/Facebook

S. Irene Virbila is completely smitten with Bernhard Mairinger’s BierBeisl, a small simple spot in Beverly Hills where refined Austrian cuisine meets a seasonal California sensibility. What’s not to like: The Patina alum is turning out traditional dishes like whipped pork fat and pretzel bread, perfectly crisp schnitzel with warm potato salad, an array of custom-made sausages, and a white fish filet with a warm cucumber-celery salad that’s “genius.” Half the fun is watching the almost 7-foot chef work his magic in the tiny open kitchen. But it’s also the Austrian-heavy beer and wine list, and the schnapps, which you really don’t find around town much. “Let’s hope there will soon be as many people lined up for apple strudel as there are for cupcakes ordered from the machine outside Sprinkles one block over,” she says.”This is Beverly Hills. Anything could happen.” [LAT]

J. Gold hasn’t met a dumpling he didn’t like, but the “mutantly large xiao long bao” at Wang Xing Ji in San Gabriel Valley almost frighten him. “You could deploy them as grenades, I’m pretty sure, lobbing the heavy spheroids over battlements. Or you could employ them as sub-lethal projectiles, splatting them into the enemy at will, although the sticky broth is undoubtedly prohibited in an obscure codicil of the Geneva Conventions,” he says. Either way, he adds, you’d probably die on the other side of that sort of attack, but you’d die happy with the “sweet crab and pork juices trickling down your cheek.” There’s a lot more you can eat at this first American outpost of the most popular dumpling house in Wuxi, a city just outside of Shanghai, including pork belly fried rice, spareribs, and crispy scallion pancakes. But the dumplings, both sweet and savory, are what you’re there for. [LAT]

S. Irene Virbila Big on BierBeisl; Gold’s Mutant Dumplings at Wang Xing Ji