This small local chain started in Pasadena in 2018, but has quickly expanded to four locations in Greater LA, including one on Sawtelle, thanks to their handmade dumplings and noodles. The star on Dan’s small menu is the dan mein - the thick, homemade noodles have a nice chewy bite to them and get stir-fried with your choice of protein in a sweet garlic sauce, which we think goes best with the tender short ribs. Besides the delicious dan mein, we like the especially crispy pan-fried dumplings and fried rice, which is prepared with a generous amount of Dungeness crab.
These thick, handmade noodles (which shouldn’t be confused with dan dan mian) are stir-fried with a sweet, garlicky sauce, shitakes, and snow peas, and are the best thing on the menu. While you can also get chicken, shrimp, or vegetables, we think the short rib goes best with the sweeter sauce and the bouncy, chewy noodles.
The wok-fried rice here is cooked just right–you get that wok hei from the high heat of wok frying and the grains of rice never stick together. There's a pretty generous amount of fresh crab meat mixed into the garlicky fried rice too, though there’s always an option to add extra.
Dan's offers dumplings with three different preparations, including steamed and regular pan-fried, but the one to get is the crispy pan-fried dumplings that give you that crispy crust/dumpling skirt at the bottom. Keep in mind that this particular preparation takes up to 30 minutes, but it’s always worth it.