Dragon Beard Candy from Koi Palace

Here's a trick to bypassing the amusement park-like weekend crowds at Daly City dim sum institution Koi Palace: Save the dumplings for a quieter time and just swoop in and out with some dragon beard candy (eight pieces for $8, 16 pieces for $15).

It has been said both that this confectionery art of hand-pulling and creating nests of sugar threads (kept distinct with repeated dustings of glutinous rice flour) stuffed with peanuts, coconut, and sesame seeds has existed for more than 2000 years, and that it is a dying art. Koi Palace is the only place in the greater Bay Area that we could find creating the sweet from scratch (let us know if you're aware of an exception), which it does in public view next to the hostess check-in every Saturday and Sunday. Simply walk past all the starving families to the cashier area downstairs and to the right of the check-in and tell the counterperson how many boxes you want. We suggest two, especially if you're the sharing kind.

Koi Palace: 365 Gellert (at Serramonte), Daly City, 650-992-9000.

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