Los Angeles, Many fans of the Taiwan-based steamed dumplings restaurant brand Din Tai Fung (鼎泰豐) flocked to its store located in Arcadia, Los Angeles on Thursday, the restaurant’s last day in business.
Ben Ashbrook, a Hollywood actor and producer, who was one of the restaurant chain’s fans lining up in front of the store, said he drove across the entire LA area from Marina del Rey for about one hour to get to Arcadia to have the last taste of the famous “xiaolongbao” (steamed pork dumplings) from the outlet.
“It’s the original. I’m really emotional today,” Ashbrook told CNA. “In terms of having that honest Taiwanese taste and cuisine, there’s no better place. So I’ve been so grateful for it over the years.”
Ashbrook and other fans of the brand rushed to visit the Arcadia store after Din Tai Fung announced on Wednesday that June 11 would be the last day the Arcadia store would be open.
It is the Taiwanese chain’s first store in the U.S. market.
According to Din Tai Fung, the closure of the Arcadia store, which had been opened for 20 years, was due to an economic downturn. It issued a statement, saying the shutdown of the store was a “heart-breaking” decision.
“Din Tai Fung, having been family-owned, it stayed authentic, and it stayed true and that’s the reason for its popularity,” Ashbrook said.
Among the people waiting outside the store, Michael Lin, a second generation Taiwanese living in the U.S., said when he was 15-years old, he saw the Arcadia store start its business, and the first Din Tai Fung store in the U.S. has become irreplaceable to many residents here, although another larger store of the brand opened nearby about four years ago.
“This one is such a big name, it makes us as Taiwanese, Chinese, Asian community really proud of the type of food that we can show other people,” Lin told CNA.
Despite the closure of the Arcadia store, the chain still has seven other restaurants in California, four in the state of Washington, and one in Oregon. It is also scheduled to open a restaurant in Las Vegas.
Din Tai Fung, which is internationally renowned for its dumplings, opened its first store on Taipei’s Xinyi Road in 1958 and has since expanded to 11 countries with around 150 stores worldwide.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel