We're not prone to blind loyalty, but Peony's dim sum is so much better than all its local challengers -- including the spate of new ones that have popped up in the past two years -- that we just can't bring ourselves to name anyone else. What makes it so good? It's the little things, like the turnip cakes: They taste like Chinese sausage, not like gummy wads of mashed roots. Or the ethereal lightness of the steamed rice-noodle sheets folded around poached shrimp and washed in a sweet soy sauce. Peony's kitchen staff is big enough to branch far afield of the standards, too, with seaweed salad and five-spice pressed fish. Plus, even when the football-field-sized restaurant is slammin', the seemingly chaotic procession of carts through the crowd maintains a consistent pace, with no ten-minute waits just for one steamer of siu mai.
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