I mourned the closing of Dumpling Master for a long time. When a new restaurant with the unlikely name of Huge Tree Pastry opened in its space I was curious, but not until I saw a good Thi Nguyen review in the LA Times did I give it a try. C. Thi Nguyen, who is one of the contributors to the "The Find" column in the LA Times is one of my favorite food reviewers. He has an engaging writing style, a good nose for sniffing out new finds and excellent taste. If Thi likes something, I'm pretty sure I will too.
Huge Tree is a Taiwanese breakfast spot with all manner of pastries and dumplings. Scallion pies, fried daikon cakes, beef rolls (wheat cake with beef and mustard pickle) and something called salted rice ball, a Chinese doughnut wrapped pork and pickled mustard greens and coated with sticky rice.
The secret to a lot of these dishes is the "mustard pickles," pickled mustard greens. These greens were a great mix of tangy, sour and salty and enhance pretty much anything they go on, an all-purpose relish. I even waked out with an order to go.
Also good was the sweet tofu, which went especially well with the crullers, churro sized fried, unsweetened dough sticks that taste like Indian fry bread.
The only dumplings we got were fried pork but they were quite good and next time we'll try the Xiao Long Bao and as many dishes with mustard pickles as we can find.
Huge Tree Pastry
423 N Atlantic Blvd
Monterey Park, CA 91754