In May 2016 readers Christie, Bob & Annie told me that long-time Isla Vista restaurant The Cantina at 966 Embarcadero Del Mar has a sign up for a Public Notice of Application For Ownership Change. It said that it will be replaced by a Chinese eatery called Dumpling King and the transition was supposed to take about a month. 15 months later reader Steve H. says that Dumpling King has arrived.  As I understand it The Cantina had been there for a decades, and before that, it was the home of Grandma Gurdy’s. “You know it’s authentic when there’s 3 Chinese chefs behind the counter who speak mandarin and wrap dumplings in front of you,” says reader Tiffany. The menu includes three types of dumplings: shrimp with pork and chives, beef with celery, and fish. The cost is $9.99 and includes 15 dumplings.

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  1. Christine says:

    Some reviews on Yelp already, very positive reception. However from the pictures they serve on styrofoam??? Yuck!

    • John Dickson says:

      I ate there and was served on a to-go styrofoam container. I didn’t have a problem with it but I can see how others might. The issue I had was that the fish dumplings were so bland – no discernible taste beyond the pasta. They have no mixed options so I didn’t try other flavors. It’s either a 15-piece full order of shrimp, a full order of beef, or a full order of fish. They need 5 pieces of each option.

  2. Justine says:

    It was Grandma Gertie’s. I was a UCSB student in the 80s and they made the BEST sandwiches… big round fresh-baked rolls split open with cheese melted under the broiler, then they’d put on the standard deli sandwich stuff. The warm toasty roll and melty cheese contrasted with the cold, crunchy veggies was an unparalleled delight. They also had a special place in my heart because my grandma’s name was Gertrude (though she went by Trudi). I miss them so.

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