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What's Going On With Chinatown Dumpling Darling House of Bao?

The place is all closed up.

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House of Bao, Chinatown
House of Bao, Chinatown
Farley Elliott
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Something must be up with House of Bao on Sunset Boulevard in Chinatown. The Wal-Mart adjacent storefront has been shuttered up tight for more than a week now, despite having become something of a local darling following a glowing write-up by the LA Times just back in August.

Various folks say the place has been dark for at least the past seven days, and calls to the restaurant just ring through into infinity. There’s nothing but a closed sign on the door for now — and their logo banner still hangs above the front windows — but there are absolutely no signs of life inside.

What’s even weirder: the place doesn’t look closed closed, as in permanently; it just looks sort of stuck in time. There are still soy sauce bottles out on the tables inside, drinks in the open cooler by the front door … all the usual signs of a place that could, at any moment, reopen. Attempts to reach owner Bill Zhuo for confirmation on just what might be going on have so far come up short.

House of Bao had just started to garner a small following after being discovered as a place for high-quality buns and dumplings that didn’t compromise just because it wasn’t located in the San Gabriel Valley. Dishes like beef tendon and pigs’ ears also made an appearance, adding a touch of Shaanxi flavor to this run of Chinatown, which is otherwise mostly bordered by taco shops and fast food joints.

House of Bao

701 E. Cesar Chavez Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012 (213) 625-2222