Facing East (Eight Guys Xiao Long Bao + happy hour) – San Diego, CA

I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to visit Facing East but none of my friends have been wanting to try out this new restaurant. I was in this plaza the other day and decided it was time for me to venture inside the restaurant. I was lucky as they offered happy hour that weekday from 3p-5:30p. Appetizers are 15% off  during happy hours. The parking can be horrendous in this plaza but it was manageable the hour I was there.

FACING EAST

Facing East took over Dede’s Teajuice.

PROJECTOR WALL

The interior is now younger and more hip.

INTERIOR
EIGHT GUYS XIAO LONG BAO

They had flyer by the entrance for people to read. The February special is their Eight Guys Xiao Long Bao. Normally it’s $15 but it was priced at $12.99 for this month.

Tony, one of the owners, was serving that late afternoon. He said he opened this restaurant with his girlfriend. The xiao long baos and dumplings are all hand made as are their noodles.

CONDIMENTS
COMPLIMENTARY ICE TEA

I think my xiao long bao order came with a complimentary ice tea during happy hour. This green tea was unsweetened (per request) and was bitterly strong (not a bad thing).

EIGHT GUYS XIAO LONG BAO $15

They recommend you eat the eight in a specific order:

1. ORIGINAL

The first is the original xiao long bao.

It was nicely soupy.

2. SPINACH SKIN/KALE

I enjoyed kale in this #2 xiao long bao. The dumpling was really soupy too.

3. LIGHT MUSHROOM/CRAB ROE

You could see and taste the crab roe. There wasn’t as much soup in this one.

4. DARK MUSHROOM/FOIE GRAS

The foie was odd tasting to me. It tasted un-natural for some reason.

5. DARK SQUID INK / TRUFFLE

The truffle xiao long bao was one of my favorites! I could have eaten a dozen of these little purses of hot truffle porky goodness.

6. TURMERIC SKIN / CHEESE

Maybe this one would be enjoyed by someone who likes strong cheeses. The broth was plentiful but the cheese over powered this dumpling.

7. LIGHT SQUID INK / GARLIC

You must love garlic to enjoy this one. The taste of garlic is pungent but I enjoyed it.

8. BEETS SKIN / SZECHUAN SPICY

So much soup and yes indeed it was spicy. It was unique in a pleasant way.

GARLIC GREEN BEANS

The fresh green beans were sauteed nicely with ample garlic. It was an adequate vegetable stir fry but not the best.

FRIED CHICKEN WINGS

There are about 5 wings per order. The wings are lightly battered and then deep fried. I could taste the five spice sprinkled on top of the hot wings. The wings were ok as they were nicely meaty but I didn’t like the batter or five spice as much.

SPICY WONTONS

I was hoping these spicy wontons would taste similar to the version at Liang’s Kitchen.

The pork and shrimp wontons were plump. The chili sauce was similar to the version at Liang’s but was missing that ‘ahhhh’ factor. I personally would have liked more fermented mustard greens. Still, a nice appetizer that I’d order again if I was in the mood for spicy wontons.

I had enough left overs for dinner later in the evening. The prices here are higher but happy hour will get you a bit of a discount. Their Eight Guys Xiao Long Bao was creative and was the closest thing I’ve found to mimic my amazing experience  with Paradise Dynasty’s eight different xiao long baos in Taipei, Taiwan. I hope to return soon with sis and V to try out more items on their menu.

FACING EAST
4647 Convoy St
Ste 101C
San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 277-1477

Facing East Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

4 thoughts on “Facing East (Eight Guys Xiao Long Bao + happy hour) – San Diego, CA”

  1. Hey Faye – I’ve been to Facing East five times already – just because on each visit, I thought the food was mediocre at best. Funny thing though, The only XLB I and my friends (two from Shanghai) like is the foie gras because it has that true goose liver flavor.

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