Janet Yu from Hollywood East
Hollywood East’s forced relocation wasn’t easy on anybody, neither the owners nor the many diners who had come to rely on Janet Yu’s University Boulevard outpost for their daily dose of dim sum. When the Yu family finally reopened its place in April, it was in the Westfield Shopping Center, a spot better suited for food on a stick than steam buns from a rolling cart. But Hollywood East has carved out a respected location in the mall, an impersonal space that relies on those doughy bundles to provide comfort and warmth. All the regular items have followed Yu to Westfield: the pleated, seashell-like dumplings known as har gau; the translucent rice crepes wrapped around plump shrimp; the sweet steamed buns concealing barbecued pork; the fried taro balls. The speed at which the dishes come at you can make you feel as if Hollywood East is just some dim-sum factory churning out comestibles like a Guangdong sweatshop, but the freshness and flavors will reveal the truth: The cooks hand-make every single item on premise, creating hundreds and hundreds of sweet and savory packages for the restaurant’s lunchtime service. Your main problem at the new Hollywood East won’t be ignoring the mall rats outside the window; it’ll be learning to pace yourself as one cart after another rolls your way.
11160 Veirs Mill Road, Wheaton (240) 290-9988
Photo by Darrow Montgomery