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Father-daughter duo open Westwood location of ixlb DimSum Eats

Pictured is ixlb DimSum Eats on Lindbrook Drive. The family operated restaurant will fully open in September. (Julia Zhou/Assistant Photo editor)

By Katherine Smith

July 24, 2023 10:30 p.m.

This post was updated July 30 at 7:01 p.m.

Despite growing up in the restaurant business, Gloria Shi said she never wanted to work in it. Now, Shi and her father, Tony Ying, are opening up the second location of their restaurant, ixlb DimSum Eats.

The new restaurant is located on Lindbrook Drive. It started operating in July but will fully open in September.

The family-owned restaurant, which now has two locations in Los Angeles, specializes in dim sum, Chinese dishes including xiao long bao and wontons that are popularly served on special occasions. It primarily sells takeout and to-go options.

Gloria Shi, co-owner and co-founder of ixlb DimSum Eats, said her goal was to make an accessible dim sum dining experience that catered to customers who wanted to try the food but were intimidated by the traditional dim sum experience. She added that her vision lives throughout the restaurant by incorporating a modern aesthetic with tablets to order food and an everything-made-fresh philosophy.

Shi’s father, Tony Ying, said he was the third generation in his family to operate a restaurant in New York.

“I came from a restaurant family,” Ying said. “My grandparents, they started in New York in the 1950s, and I’m the third generation.”

The Westwood location will be ixlb DimSum Eats’ second location after Ying and Shi opened the first in Hollywood in 2016.

“Now is the chance we can work together,” he said. “The restaurant is what made me want to work again.”

When their family started the restaurant business in New York, they sold dim sum the traditional way – only on Sunday mornings and holidays. Ying said the food was served family-style around a large round table to fit two or even three generations. The meal would go on for four or five hours, and families would get their dim sum from a lady with a pushcart, he said.

Now starting a new restaurant together, Shi and Ling created a new name. Ling said the restaurant’s name originally came from the popularization of the product they sold.

“The Chinese pronunciation for “ai” in Chinese is love,” he said. “The meaning is love xiao long bao.”

Shi said in opening the restaurant, the two wanted to blend together Ying’s traditional flavor with her new ideas. She added that she hoped to make ordering at the restaurant easy and the price points inexpensive.

Shi added that their menu features some of the most popular dim sum dishes, such as chicken shu mai, har gow and cha siu bao.

“Wontons – that’s my favorite,” Ying said. “That’s the best item on the menu and the most popular one.”

Pictured are various dim sum dishes. The owners wanted to make eating dim sum an easy and affordable experience for people in Westwood.
Pictured are various dim sum dishes. The owners wanted to make eating dim sum an easy and affordable experience for people in Westwood.(Julia Zhou/Assistant Photo editor)

Rumjhum Hemnani, a rising fourth-year business economics student, said she loved the feeling of the restaurant and its relative affordability. She added that the barbecue pork buns were her favorite dish.

Hemnani said she was missing dim sum shops from home after moving from Irvine, California, to Los Angeles.

“I missed dim sum, so it’s really nice that they have this amazing tasting affordable option right here in Westwood,” she said. “The staff was just super nice, like they were just so sweet.”

Menu items range from $6 to $9. Their items include dedicated vegetarian and gluten-free options, according to the restaurant’s menu.

Shi said opening a location in Westwood has always been her dream. She added Westwood was the first place she lived when she moved to LA.

“When we were looking for locations, it was always opening Westwood,” she said. “So, after seven years, I’m happy to say we finally made full circle.”

Shi said the style of the restaurant serves to make dim sum accessible to everyone, including students and blue-collar workers.

“Any person that’s never had a dumpling can find something they like and not be intimidated going in and not knowing what to order,” she said.

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Katherine Smith
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