Tonight was part deux of Bao Bao Dumpling House’s soft opening. Dinner service kicks off again at 5pm on Saturday 10/18/14. Beyond that, I’m not sure when their grand opening is taking place or what their hours of operation will be. Pretty amazing at how transformed and roomy this space seems compared to the days when West End Deli occupied it. The massive dragon fixture on the wall will immediately grab your attention and you know you’ve arrived at a very special place. The lamb dumplings are not to be missed and I implore you order them pan-fried, not boiled. Every bite made me grateful to be an omnivore. Vegetarian friends, you’ll hate me for saying it and more power to you, but you’re missing out. It makes me weep for your tastebuds knowing that they are deprived of such joys. I also enjoyed the steamed hake/burdock dish, but it was totally upstaged by the lamb. The panna cotta was interesting, which I know is an annoying adjective particularly in the culinary realm. I was mainly attracted to the novelty of the pandan leaf ingredient, but still can’t say for sure whether I liked or disliked it. At the risk of sounding like a fortune cookie, I foresee very good things coming from this place and I wish to extend a warm welcome to Cara Stadler and her team as they establish themselves here in Portland. Hmmm…now I have Tao Yuan on my mind. Perhaps I’m due for another drive up to Brunswick?