Best New Restaurants 2022: Delightful Dumplings at Paradise Dynasty at South Coast Plaza

Paradise Dynasty
Photographs by Emily J. Davis


ast September, long lines snaking out the door of Bloomingdale’s South Coast Plaza signaled the arrival of Paradise Dynasty—and revealed that our appetite for luxury dumplings has yet to peak. Despite the popularity of neighbor Din Tai Fung, there’s enough dumpling adoration to share with this Singapore export founded by restaurant superstar Edwin Chua. Sleek and straightforward, the dining room surrounds a glass kitchen showcasing nimble dumpling artists. Try the signature rainbow sampler—eight juicy dumplings with color-coordinated wrappers. Tiny cheat sheets guide you through jade green for luffa gourd, black for black truffle, and so on. Venture beyond dumplings into appetizers, dim sum, la mian, fried noodles, rice dishes—all have their intriguing options. Sichuan crispy chicken is admirably fiery. Two standout dim sum dishes: the warm radish-filled pastry with countless fragile layers; and the tidy stack of cool, crisp lettuce rolls that taste like the color green. Don’t skip soups starring the spellbinding pork bone broth, intense, nuanced, and rightly acclaimed. Though Kurobuta pork is exalted, chicken is a sleeper pick, particularly the XLB or chicken dumplings in chile vinaigrette. For dessert, griddle-hot pumpkin pastries are the healthiest donuts in Costa Mesa. Warm black sesame balls are one-bite treats that go down like peanut butter mochi.

3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa 714-617-4630

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