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Mar 13, 2008 05:01 PM

Noodles in the SGV

I have what may be a humble request for the sophisticated Chinese food eaters on this board. Where can I go in the San Gabriel Valley (prefer as far west as possible, but recommend away!) to bring home some cool noodle dishes? Not soup dumplings, not noodle soup: chow fun, rice cakes, handshaven noodles, e-fu with crab, that sort of thing. I honestly can't tell from reading earlier postings: even a place with Noodle in its name is mostly known for beef roll!

Along similar humble lines, if it is possible for your recommendations to offer something close to the name as I might encounter it, in Engish, on the menu, I would have a much easier time.


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  1. I really like the beef and tomato chow mein with handmade noodles at the Dumpling Master. Also, the Shanghai rice cakes at Din Tai Fung is one of my favorite dishes anywhere. (Too bad Heavy Noodling is gone; that would have been perfect.)

    Din Tai Fung Restaurant
    1108 S Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007

    Dumpling Master Restaurant
    423 N Atlantic Blvd, Monterey Park, CA 91754

    1. For chow mein/chow fun, I'd recommend Cantonese or Hong Kong restaurants:

      Tasty Garden
      1212 S. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia 626-445-9388
      288 W. Valley Blvd., #110-112, Alhambra 626-300-8262

      Beef Chow Fun w/ Black Bean Sauce (cooked wet-style).
      Fish fillets Fun w/ Black Bean Sauce (cooked wet-style).
      Shredded Beef Udon in X.O. Sauce

      I used to like the chow fun at Baccali Rotisserie, but it's been a while since I've been there. Here are some more restaurant reviews for your reading pleasure:

      For hand-pulled noodles (shou la mian), try the Za Jiang Main at Dumpling House in Temple City:
      Dumpling House
      5612 Rosemead Blvd., Temple City 626-309-9918.

      I like hand-pulled noodles better, but if you like hand-kneaded noodles (shou gan mian), try Noodle House in Arcadia:
      Noodle House
      46 W. Las Tunas Dr., Arcadia 626-821-2088
      Here's some more info:

      For Shanghai rice cakes, Din Tai Fung is good, but I also really like the ones at Jin Jian partially because I like their xiao long bao more:
      Jin Jian
      301 W. Valley Blvd., #109, San Gabriel 626-308-9238
      Here's some more info:

      15 Replies
      1. re: raytamsgv

        That's a great list.

        I actually think that Sam Woo (Valley/6th St.) makes a great chow fun.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          You're absolutely right. The last time I was there, they had some great wok "qi".

          1. re: raytamsgv

            Ray, i'm with you on all of those. Tasty Garden just does the HK style cafe food so well. In addition to their noodles, it's their claypot rice dishes that get me back there (bo zai faan) – mm salted fish/chinese sausage.

            Everytime I've been to Garden Cafe (baldwin avenue in arcadia) and Cafe Spot (valley blvd... west of Garfield) - they make a great crispy beef chow mein and beef chow fun. and for $5.95 - no damage is done.

          2. re: ipsedixit

            i concur with ipsedixit. try the rice vermicelli singapore style... that be good too! and an order of spicy salt squid just makes it a bit better...

          3. re: raytamsgv

            Gotta say that the best HK chow fun w/ black pepper sauce is at Regent Cafe (or was like a year ago). Smoky and peppery. The rest of their stuff is pretty much Garden variety.

            1. re: raytamsgv

              Hey raytamsgv,

              Have you been back to Dumpling House (Lao Hsiang) recently? I went back recently with some guests visiting and was VERY disappointed! :( It seems that their noodles aren't "shou la mien" anymore (at least the texture, flavor of what I got that day was horrible). A huge change from the early days when they were more popular.

              (I wonder if it has to do with Mandarin Deli, Dai Ho (Dah Huh) and other local places taking away their customers?)

              1. re: exilekiss

                You only get the hand-pulled noodles (shou la mien) when the owner is present on site -- the older, rotundly shaped gentlemen who's usually in the back in a pair of dark jeans, a white tee, and an apron.

                Also Mandarin Deli and Dai Ho (both on Las Tunas) have been there for years now, probably at least 5 years for both, if not longer.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  Thanks for the tip, ipsedixit! :)

                  It's unfortunate that if the owner isn't there that their noodles drop in quality. I'll be on the lookout next time.

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    Is the owner the one who makes the noodles now? I haven't been there in ages. My parents used to go the Dumpling House all the time when I was younger, so I spent a lot of time watching the noodles being made by another gentleman. My sister and I also had quite a few close calls with their fish pond, heh.

                    1. re: crystaw

                      Ask them, crystaw. I know when I ordered a bowl of the "3 Delights" noodle soup (or the "San-shien tzou-ma mien") I was told that it was not hand-pulled anymore. So I passed and I got the fish dumplings instead.

                      I too have been going to Dumpling House since I was much, much younger. Funny, but is there even fish in that "pond" any more?

                      Things I love about that place (in no particular order):

                      1. Free kimchi
                      2. Those damn orange slices at the end of every meal
                      3. Fish dumplings

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        The fish are still there. My kids have had many encounters with them.

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          Mmmm...they do have good orange slices. I threw a fit once at that Chinese restaurant that used to be next to Hawaii Supermarket because we didn't get the usual after meal orange slices when I was like 4. One of the servers thought I wanted an orange soda so I got that instead

                          1. re: crystaw

                            Sounds like between us three chickens on this thread, there should almost be a Dumpling House get-together ...

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              Sounds good to me: three CH debating about the finer points of how to feed the fishes without getting splashed by them.... :-)

                    2. re: exilekiss

                      I usually don't have problems when I go there, but then again, we know the owner pretty well. One thing I would warn against is ordering the Beef Stew noodles after lunch and before 6 PM. Sometimes, the flavor can be seriously lacking. However, we've never had problems with it later in the evening. My guess is that the stock hasn't cooked long enough.

                  2. Ma lan handpulled noodles. Northern style wheat noodles. They have non-soup noodle dishes.
                    2020 S Hacienda Blvd, Hacienda Heights, CA 91745

                    The thing is, I dno't think there is one good place that is going to have good cantonese style noodes, good sichuan style dan dan mian, good northern noodle dishes, good shanghai style noodles (yi-mian) or their versian of niangao rice cakes. 101 noodle express does have some good noodle dishes. The character for noodle there though, is as meaningful for stuffed wheat dumplings as it is for noodles - think of it as pasta which can be stuffed or layered or noodles.

                    Any good cantonese/hk restaurant will give you some good noodle dishes as would a place like meilong village for niangao and shanghai noodles.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Jerome

                      jerome, been trying to go to 101 for a while – but i scurry away when i see that line outside. what do i get? i'm dying to try the scallion pancake "nachos".

                    2. We're lucky to have a chain of Guilin rice noodle restaurants in the SGV. Frankly I don't recall hearing of any others in the U.S. The original location of Eight Cafe is at 110 E. Garvey in Monterey Park; the upscale branch is Dandan Guilin Rice noodle in San Gabriel Square. The third branch, also called Eight Cafe is at 600 E Valley Bl. in San Gabriel, appurtenant to the San Gabriel Superstore.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Chandavkl

                        chandavkl, funny. i just had a discussion with Ipsedixit on Guilin rice noodles the other day. this photo was from Yangshuo, China... near Guilin. i think about their noodles all the time.

                        1. re: Chandavkl

                          What I like about themis that they are thick and soft although still rice noodles. Unlike the thin cantonese style rice noodles - these are much like Japanese udon noodles. While I still prefer wheat noodles,these have a wonderful texture.