While it not might be a full dim sum experience, Long Beach will happily accept a take on Chinese cuisine that offers the mighty soup dumpling that is xiao long bao as well as some hand-pulled dan dan noodles.
After announcing its presence in Long Beach in September of 2021, Dan Modern Chinese, the SoCal-based contemporary and minimal Chinese grub spot that has spawned locations throughout the region, has officially opened daily for delivery through food apps and in-person for take-out at its first Long Beach location at the 2nd + PCH complex.
The reason for delivery and take-out only for the moment? To “test the steamers and woks,” according to owner James Kim, meaning that he wants to assure the kitchen gets up to par while experimenting with orders before taking on in-house dining service.
Kim has built up a mini-empire with Dan that contradicts what so many Chinese restaurants do: Rather than a seemingly endless menu of endless options, Kim homes in on specific dishes—like the soup dumpling masterpieces that are xiao long bao along with traditional Chinese dumplings—that span Chinese cuisine with a very broad brush while avoiding over-taxing the patron with I-can’t-choose-three-let-alone-one iteration of those dishes.
In his words when he opened in Pasadena: “One thing with Chinese restaurants: The belief is when you want one thing, you go to one restaurant, and if you want another thing, you go to another. The goal here is to bring [a quality version of each] under one roof.”
What does this equate to?
Dan is known for its xiao long bao dumplings—and rightfully so: rich, all filled with a pork-and-blue crab broth, and your choice of protein, they are prime examples of the dumpling. Kim himself said he fashioned the soup dumplings after the version at New York’s famed Joe’s Shanghai.
This also means hand-rolled noodles—for everything from Lo Mein with short rib to oxtail soup—and scallion pancakes, pickled cucumbers to mapo tofu.
Dan Modern Chinese is located at 6460 E. Pacific Coast Hwy, Suite 100 in the 2nd + PCH retail complex and is open daily from 5:30PM to 9:30PM. You order delivery through Postmates, Doordash, Uber Eats, or ChowNow; or you can have take-out if visiting in person.