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Dumpling Inn
4619 Convoy Street, Kearny Mesa
858-268-9638

It's hard to find good jellyfish this side of the ocean. Most jellyfish served in the U.S. are rubbery or totally tasteless. Or maybe it's been cooked too long or not enough or with uninteresting garnishes. At Dumpling Inn, a hole in the wall in a small strip mall, open only for lunch and very early dinners, they know the magic word -- or ingredient or shopping trick: their jellyfish is tender and crunchy, served in a tangy salad with julienned carrots, cukes, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil. "Not colossal," answered the waitress tersely, when complimented on the dish. The mystery remains unsolved. Of course, you can also get Northern Chinese dumplings (boiled or fried as pot stickers) here, and Szechwan specialties like Dan Dan noodles and hot and sour soup. But if the "specials" board lists them, jump on the jellies first.

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