BEST Noodle Spots in Arcadia / Temple City
Where do you think has the best noodles in the immediate Arcadia / Temple City vicinity?
Please list the following - I might not be able to try them all - but I'll try :
1. Name of the restaurant
2. Either a phone number, the address, or description of where it's at
3. What you recommend ordering
My recommendation ...
1. Mandarin Noodle Deli
2. Corner of Primrose & Las Tunas in Temple City - (626) 309-4318
3. Beef Stew Noodle Soup (prefer xtra spicy) / Fried Dumplings / Beef Onion Pancake Roll
Dumpling House in Rosemead on Rosemead Blvd/Las Tunas.
Order beef noodle soup, scallion pancakes, boiled fish dumplings.
In recent months Dumpling House has experienced a precipitous decline IMO.
The broth that accompanies their "3-specialty" noodles has been VERY lackluster. I really like the place because the owners are very nice and accommodating, but I hope the decline in quality is only a temporary blip.
I'll put up with the crowds and surly owner at Dai Ho just because the food is better executed there.
I don't usually order that dish, but I have noticed that if you order the beef noodle soup in the early evening, it is usually bland. However, when we order it later in the evening, it tastes pretty good. My guess is that they replenish their stock after lunch, and the flavors don't truly come out until later. Of course, I might be reading too much into it; it may very well be a statistical anomaly.
Thanks for the link ...
NORTHERN-STYLE RESTAURANT REVIEWS
5612 Rosemead Blvd., Temple City 626-309-9918
Type: Northern Chinese/Korean
Quality: !!!! Price: $-$$$ Ambience: **
This is one of my favorite restaurants--highly recommended. They specialize in hand-drawn noodles (aka shou la mian). Unlike mass-manufactured noodles, hand-drawn noodles are slightly chewy with a bit of give. I like them better than mass-manufactured noodles. I personally like the Za Jiang Mian (aka "Noodle with Brown Sauce"). The Beef Stewed Noodles are good, too. Dumplings are also hand-made. The pork dumplings are large. I like the steamed pork dumplings the best. However, be aware that it usually takes at least 10-15 minutes to cook them; don't count on them as appetizers. The thin onion pancakes are crisp and hearty. I also recommend the "pork and glass noodle wrap." This is like a Chinese burrito. They'll give you 4 wrappers and a whole plate of noodles and meat that you should stuff inside the wrappers. They'll also give you some hoisin/plum sauce and raw green onion slivers to put in your "burrito" as well. You should ask for 4 additional wrappers, because there's no way on earth to stuff your noodles and meat into just 4 wrappers. Remember, this is not a Cantonese restaurant, so avoid the chow mein and rice dishes. The staff is Chinese-Korean, so you can order in Korean, too. If you have kids, they can ask the owner for some fish pellets to fed the Koi inside the entrance. The restaurant is tucked away in a mini-mall across the street from Denny's. You cannot enter the parking lot going southbound on Rosemead Blvd. You must enter on northbound Rosemead Blvd.
46 W. Las Tunas Dr., Arcadia 626-821-2088
Type: Northern Chinese
Quality: !!! Price: $-$$$ Ambience: **
There's nothing like listening to soothing music from Kenny G. while eating some hearty Northern-style noodles, especially when the songlist includes "Walking in a Winter Wonderland" and "Silent Night," and it's the end of March. That is a true Southern California experience. However, I must say that the food was certainly better than the choice of music. The noodles here are called "Shou Gan Mian", which is loosely translated as "hand-kneaded noodles." Instead of using a machine, they knead the dough by hand. Unlike Shou La Mian (hand-drawn noodles), these are cut with a knife or cutting machine of some sort. The result is similar--slightly chewy and very fresh noodle. I prefer Shou La Mian, but these were really good, too. The potsickers were very good--mostly pan fried instead of mostly steamed, which is what you find at most restaurants. It takes longer to cook, but the flavor is more intense. The Pan Cake with Green Onion provides a good accompaniment to the soup noodles. They are thin, pan-fried flour pancakes with green onions. They're actually more like a tortilla on steriods than a pancake. They also serve Chinese-style breakfast here, and I'm not talking about Kung Pao McMuffin here. One of my co-workers is very fond of this place. Finding this place is a bit tricky. It is in a mini-mall just west of Santa Anita and bordered by Las Tunas and Live Oak. You cannot enter from the Live Oak side; you must enter from the Las Tunas Side. Personally, I think the ambience would improve if they change their music from Kenny G. to country music. Yessirree, you could then eat your Northern Chinese-style noodles and dumplings to the tune of "Mommas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys....."
921 S. Baldwin Ave., #A, Arcadia 626-445-2755
Type: Northern Chinese
Quality: !!! Price: $-$$ Ambience: ***
Chinese restaurants sometimes have a problem with finding good English names. Many moons ago, NBC first opened in Monterey Park. Of course, there's the ABC restaurant. NBC clobbered it in the ratings. But I digress. This Dumpling House is not related to the Dumpling House in Temple City. It's quite small. In fact, to get to the bathroom, you need to either walk through the kitchen or enter the restaurant from the back entrance. Other than that, the decor is really nice and subdued--no garish banks of office flourescent lights here.
The food here is typical Northern-style fare: dumplings and plenty of wheat-based foods. The pan fried dumplings look like steamed baozi but are pan fried on the bottom: very tasty. We also tried the chive Pan Cakes--this is definitely recommended for garlic chive lovers. The celery and pork dumplings were pretty good, though you need to wait for the dish to cool down a bit for the full flavor to come through. The Flavors Stewed Beef was rather forgettable--too much anise for me, and it was almost all tendons and connective tissue. The Ham Fried Rice was good, but entirely too expensive: $5.25 for a small plate. You can get twice as much for less at any Hong Kong or Cantonese restaurant.
At this point, the astute reader will ask, "Why in the world did you order a rice dish in a Northern-style restaurant?" Well, Grasshopper, I'm glad you asked. I was actually taking my kids to the aforementioned restroom when my wife and sister-in-law decided to order to the dish. When I returned, I decided that marital harmony was far more important than gastronomic satisfaction. I'm sure I made the wise decision.
9537 Las Tunas Dr., Temple City 626-309-4318
Type: 80's Retro
Quality: !!! Price: $-$$ Ambience: **
U2. Madonna. The Thompson Twins. Now playing at your local Mandarin Deli. I'm not kidding. As we sat down, a wave of nostalgia hit me: it was 80's music blasting through the loudspeakers in Mandarin Deli. I'm guessing that whoever ran the place found a CD with some English on it and put it in the CD player without any idea of what the music was about (see the reference to Kenny G.'s Christmas music in the Noodle House entry above).
Anyhow, we enjoyed our meal. We started with the Sliced Beef with Pancake. It's a thin onion/scallion pancake wrapped around some beef slices, parsley, and some other stuff--it's an SGV version of what is known as a "wrap" in more trendy circles. Obviously, I'm not a member of the aforementioned trendy circles. The potstickers (aka Pan Fried Meat Dumplings) were quite tasty. I think I ordered either the Mandarin Stye Noodle with Chili or the Noodle with Spicy Chili Sauce (I can't remember exactly which one). It was actually a moderately spicy with different types of seafood in it, including octopus, squid, shrimp, etc. It was a bit tough getting the tentacles down, though. I wasn't too fond of their Beef Stew with Home Made Noodle Soup--too much connective tissue for my personal tastes. Service was a bit slow because they had too few waitresses for that many tables, but they were very nice people. OK, I'll admit it: I actually enjoyed the music. I'm a child of the 80's; what can I say? Overall, I'd say that it was, like, a totally decent restaurant, dude.
Instead of QQ for Taiwanese street food, go to Won Won Kitchen in the adjacent strip mall where QQ is situated.
Won Won is owned and operated by the former owners of QQ. Food at Won Won is better. New staff at QQ have yet to get their bearings, despite being at the controls for about 9 months now.