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REVIEW: Ma's Chinese Islamic, Anaheim

On the way from Brea back home yesterday, Mrs Ubergeek and I were discussing dinner options when we passed Ma's Islamic Chinese restaurant on Orangethorpe near the Metrolink tracks.

"That sounds good," says Mrs Ubergeek. "Let's go after we drop the stuff off at home."

"Okay," I said.

And so we went. Unlike China Islamic in Rosemead, where the customers are mostly Chinese, this was a big mix -- some East Asian and some South Asian or Arab, with the women mostly in veils or hijab. It's a much nicer-looking place than China Islamic, and the service is much more gracious.

We ordered dough-cut noodles with lamb, thin bing (sesame bread with green onions) and, as a nod to my wife, mushu chicken.

The noodles were excellent -- just slightly al dente in the centre. I would have preferred it with beef (as the commentators on Iron Chef would say, they had trouble "masking the odour of lamb") but it was very, very good anyway. The mushu chicken was excellent -- and it's been a very long time since we've had anyone be able to build the mushu tableside without spilling things everywhere.

The winner, however, was the sesame bread. Wow. It's $8.50, but don't let the price scare you -- it's an ENORMOUS portion of bread, five entire rounds (and each round is about 12 inches in diametre) cut into portions. Scruuuuuuuuuuuuumptious. I had it for breakfast today; I'll have it with the leftovers tonight. The portions were enormous overall -- the mushu was four huge pancakes stuffed to burrito-sized proportions; the dish of noodles was so heavy my wife couldn't lift it.

They have "normal Chinese" lunch specials for $6.50 to $8.00 -- nothing too exciting, and they come with rice and egg roll, not a piece or two of that addicting bread.

I want to try the cumin lamb and the braised leeks with five-spiced beef.

Definitely recommend it -- it tastes better than China Islamic (maybe better execution) and the decor and service are much nicer.

601 E. Orangethorpe Ave. (east of Lemon, west of Raymond)
Anaheim, CA 92801
(714) 446-9553

No alcohol -- and they turned away a family in shorts as we were leaving, asking them to attire themselves modestly.

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  1. sounds delicious. i have been craving the da bing's and lamb hot pot lately. so they turned away people in shorts? wow.

    1. Thanks for the review, Ubergeek! So close to home, yet we have not visited there yet. Thanks for the heads-up on the dress code policy, we'll be sure to be appropriately attired when we go.

      1. I cannot wait. We need a decision -- whats the best chinese islamic place in SGV?

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        1. I just went for the first time on Sunday evening, and had really good time too. The waitress made us feel really welcome, and the room looks quite attractive.

          We also had the thin bread that uber recommends, and I certainly concur! We tried the lamb with pickled cabbage that the waitress suggested, as well as sauteed pea shoots.

          The lamb was a really pleasant surprise: not too pickly, with a nice contrast between the slightly crunchy cabbage and the lamb. I was expecting something more challenging from the name, but it was delicious. It "masked the odour of the lamb" really well!

          The pea shoots were also good: garlicky and wonderful. Both the peas and the lamb worked extremely well with the yummy sesame bread.

          1. Thanks for the report! This was on my list to try: my LA-based daughter (who is Muslim) reported that some friends had taken her and her hubby there after a recent Disneyland day trip, and now she is trying to convince me to come down for a day at Disneyland followed by dinner at Ma's (any idea how late they are open? :-)))....She specifically mentioned the decor and the sesame bread.. But lamb and pickled cabbage sounds great to me!

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