Shrimp Dumplings

Shrimp wrapped in a noodle, steamed and served with a splash of soy sauce, vinegar, ground chile and/or any number of dipping sauces becomes more than the sum of its parts: a luxuriously textural and savory treat.

* Harbor Village: Bite into the basic steamed shrimp dumpling at this enormous and excellent dim sum palace and you're hooked; they're tender, juicy and bursting with flavor. Variations include the shrimp with seafood and vegetable dumpling and the shrimp and green leek pot sticker. (Shrimp dumplings, $3.) Harbor Village, 111 N. Atlantic Blvd., Monterey Park, (626) 300-8833.

* One: Serge Burckel, one of the more eclectic fusion chefs in town, serves steamed dumplings filled with prawns and green onions that come with a ginger dipping sauce. (Shrimp dumpling, $7.50.) One Restaurant, 672 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 692-0540.

* Out Take: The shrimp pot stickers at this ever-busy Studio City cafe may be ordered a la carte or on top of a salad of mixed baby lettuce, enoki mushrooms and snow peas with a spicy sesame dressing. (Shrimp dumplings, $1.50 each; shrimp dumpling salad; $8.95.) Out Take, 12159 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, (818) 760-1111.

* Buffalo Club: On a balmy summer night, ask for a seat on the patio and try chef Patrick Healy's irresistible appetizer of steamed dumplings filled with shrimp and lobster and served with a spicy black bean sauce and fried leeks. (Shrimp and lobster dumplings, $14.) Buffalo Club, 1520 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 450-8600.

* Hong Kong Low Deli: If you want terrific shrimp-filled dumplings (har gow) for a party, stop by this Chinatown supplier and buy as many as you like. (Shrimp dumplings, $5 dozen.) Hong Kong Low Deli, 408 Bamboo Lane, Chinatown, (213) 680-9827.

* Dumpling Master: This small, popular cafe near the Shun Fat market, aptly named Dumpling Master, marries the meatiness of pork with the sweetness of shrimp in a plate of 10 delicious steamed dumplings. (Shrimp and pork dumplings, $4.60.) Dumpling Master, 423 N. Atlantic, Monterey Park, (626) 458-8689.

* Zen Grill: The menu warns that the steamed shrimp dumplings take 12 minutes to prepare, but they're worth the wait at this casual, packed pan-Asian restaurant, plump, juicy and with a pleasing springiness. They're great with a smear of chile sauce. (Shrimp dumplings, $3.25.) The Zen Grill, 8432 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, (323) 655-9991.

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