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Hand pulled noodles close to Mountain View?

anyhow Feb 11, 2009 05:26 PM

Would love to have noodles, in soup or stir-fried, and not drive too far tonight. Any suggestions?


  1. anyhow Feb 14, 2009 09:17 PM

    Zhajiang mian is my new favorite serving! Flavorful and "Q" noodles and hearty black sauce with chopped pork (not ground).

    Black mushroom with tofu - perfectly fried tofu and tender mushrooms.

    Attentive friendly service in a packed restaurant. I will go back soon to try other dishes.

    5 Replies
    1. re: anyhow
      anyhow Feb 15, 2009 10:10 AM

      Forgot the link.

      btw, what's the etiquette about a waitress offering to cut ZJM noodles with scissors? I said "no thank you" and when a couple of older Chinese diners sat next to me, they said "yes."

      Thanks in advance -- Howard

      China Way
      3475 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA

      1. re: anyhow
        mdg Feb 16, 2009 09:47 PM

        Thanks for the link - I had no idea where this was and it sounds like some place I should try out soon! How is the zhajiang mian listed on the English menu? My Chinese pronunciation isn't the best...


        1. re: mdg
          anyhow Feb 16, 2009 10:59 PM

          Black Bean Sauce Noodle, #1 in the category of Noodle Soup. (no, it is not soup)

          I found all the waitstaff spoke English and were eager to be helpful. The menu is written in English and Chinese. On the front of the menu, the restaurant's name is written in English, Chinese, and Korean.

          I hope you will enjoy China Way. Please share your opinions.

          1. re: anyhow
            mdg Feb 18, 2009 04:48 PM

            Thanks! I tried it last night. This is my first time ordering the dish, and while it was OK it isn't something I would order again. The sauce seemed a bit dull to me, lacking some zing (acid? spice? not sure...). I generally do prefer the spicier Chinese cuisines, so this is probably a matter of my individual taste. For simple noodle-ness I preferred the soup at Chef Liu. I'll be back to order something that I know better so I can get a better handle on the restaurant, but it looks promising - lots of happy eaters there.


            1. re: mdg
              possumspice Feb 15, 2012 10:19 AM

              FYI, often Jia Jiang Mian is served with a splash of vinegar. You could probably ask the restaurant for a bottle.

    2. Melanie Wong Feb 14, 2009 04:15 PM

      Did you noodle?

      2 Replies
      1. re: Melanie Wong
        anyhow Feb 14, 2009 04:34 PM

        I'm going to China Way tonight. Promise to report later.

        Gotta love your follow-through!

        1. re: anyhow
          Melanie Wong Feb 14, 2009 04:49 PM

          Good choice of uncharted territory! You're a mensch.

      2. eatzalot Feb 12, 2009 02:19 PM

        I also suggest Cafe Yulong and Chef Liu in downtown MV. I don't know about _hand-pulled,_ but both restaurants feature fresh noodles in various dishes.

        Chef Liu has been at 236 Castro for several years. I've had noodle soups and other noodle dishes there a few dozen times in those years, especially the soup with shredded pork and crisp Szechuan preserved vegetables. (Broth seems to include some white pepper.) It's the best rendition of that locally popular soup I've found in that town. (Haven't tried their beef noodle soup.) Chef is from Taiwan I believe.

        An experienced friend said that while Chef Liu's noodles are thicker and used in some good dishes, Cafe Yulong's noodles often seem to be firmer and more satisfying. They both vary (of course) with time of day, how busy, etc. etc.

        China Stix, 2110 El Camino in Santa Clara near Sunnyvale, is not far from MV. It had a huge Chinese-family following in its neighborhood, and served excellent substantial _hand-pulled_ noodles (until they ran out daily, which they always did) in my several experiences, but those experiences were a few years ago and like any such info, may be obsolete.

        4 Replies
        1. re: eatzalot
          tanspace Feb 12, 2009 04:57 PM

          Both Chef Liu and Chef Wang used to be Korean-Chinese places owned by folks from Shandong by-way-of Korea just as Cafe Yulong. My aunt used to hand-make dumplings for Chef Liu long time ago but no more.

          Cafe Yulong has homemade noodles - hand made but machine pressed. Make sure to ask for freshly cooked noodles as they used to prepare them ahead of time before so it gets more soft.

          China Stix's owners are also Shandong-ren from Taiwan and they have some good dishes. Not sure if the noodles are handmade or not.

          There are two other Shandong places that does hand-pulled but they're not in MV.
          May need to come further south to W. SJ/Cupertino for Four Seasons, which used to hand-pull their noodles the last time I was there. But I have heard that they stopped that. The other is Palace Chef in Fremont as one of the few remaining pure hand-pulled noodle places.

          Palace Chef:
          Four Seasons:

          1. re: tanspace
            Melanie Wong Feb 12, 2009 05:40 PM

            While we're talking la mian, I wanted to mention that it's been mentioned here that China Way has reopened and the owners sold Fortune Cookie in SJ. Let us know if you try it.

          2. re: eatzalot
            mdg Feb 14, 2009 05:01 PM

            Thanks for the pointer to Chef Liu for the pork and Szechuan vegetable soup. I don't know the technique behind the noodles, but I found both the soup and noodles very enjoyable. It's been a long time since I've had the dish; I would like to know of other recommended versions in the Mountain View/Cupertino area.


            1. re: mdg
              eatzalot Feb 17, 2009 12:10 PM

              mdg: "Thanks for the pointer to Chef Liu for the pork and Szechuan vegetable soup ... I found both the soup and noodles very enjoyable ... like to know of other recommended versions in the Mountain View/Cupertino area."

              I've thought about this since you posted it, mdg. Can't recommend further in downtown MV, because I've only asked for this soup in four (of the 11) Chinese restaurants there. (Obviously I can't say who makes the best versions, to my taste, in that neighborhood without checking the rest of them.)

              The other three I tried are Queen's House, Cafe Yulong, and New China Delight. All made decent, rather different versions. The one I recommended at Chef Liu (and reconfirmed since your question appeared!) has a sort of harmony unlike any of those others.

              New China Delight
              360 Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94041

              Cafe Yulong
              743 W Dana St, Mountain View, CA 94041

              Queen's House
              273 Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94041

              Chef Liu
              236 Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94041

          3. K K Feb 11, 2009 08:56 PM

            Queen House is run by Mandarin speaking Taiwanese folks. While their beef noodle soup is popular (but far from great), I'm not so sure if they are hand pulled/hand made. It's a bit too chewy to the touch (of teeth) to be hand pulled fresh noodles.

            Cafe Yulong...oh yeah their noodles are superb. Light, slurpy, good texture, and definitely fresh. Hand pulled? Not sure. Of the Sichuan Spicy Beef Noodle Soup, the chili oil burned my lips, the meat was a bit tough, but the noodles were supreme. I bet they use the same for ja jang mien (bean sauce noodles)

            Maruichi Ramen makes their own noodles in house, machine pressed of course. But the flour is imported from Japan for a supposed more authentic style and flavor.

            Chef Liu....well they moved up the street from their old location (currently occupied by Gyros House). Their beef noodle soup is sub par. I don't see the hand pulled noodles sign anymore (they used to actually call it HANDLE FRESH NOODLES), and the noodles were definitely forgettable.

            3 Replies
            1. re: K K
              eatzalot Feb 15, 2009 01:44 PM

              K K : "Maruichi Ramen makes their own noodles ... the flour is imported from Japan for a supposed more authentic style and flavor."

              I was curious how to reconcile that with the flour sacks, labeled "Gold Medal" from General Mills, "50 pounds," which I routinely see in the noodle-making room (glassed in, near the entrance). Eight of them stacked up there, on a recent visit.

              1. re: eatzalot
                K K Feb 15, 2009 03:53 PM

                I was relaying what I was told by one of the partners' wife who I spoke to at Hana San Jose, which was over a year ago. Perhaps Maruichi decided to shave costs and mix different things in? I don't know. But it does make sense that their noodles have changed from when they first opened (it doesn't taste the same, more capellini like thin in the past year). Thanks for the keen observation though and for relaying it back to us. But bottom line, they make their noodles in house versus outsourcing it...

                1. re: K K
                  eatzalot Feb 15, 2009 04:18 PM

                  Agreed, K K: Maruichi even makes its noodles right in front, in a glassed-in alcove. (How many restaurants in this area, of any kind, do that?) With machines like larger versions of the common Italian "Atlas" roller-cutter sold for table-top use.

                  I'll speak up (after trying it today) for their Shoyu ramen. As a ramen non-expert, I'd long assumed it was just a house ramen with soy sauce added. Not so. Noticed on the menu photo it seemed to have bamboo shoots (most soups there don't). After server confirmed, and it arrived, I found a light-colored broth, strong in flavor or umami, and plenty of bamboo shoots. Exquisite balance, perfect on a cold and very wet day.

                  Maru Ichi Restaurant
                  368 Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94041

            2. bbulkow Feb 11, 2009 05:46 PM

              You shouldn't need to leave mountain view - I don't know what's good for hand-pulled, though.

              Queen House appears to be known for their HK-style hand pulled noodles.
              Cafe Yulong has them (Yulong's more upscale, there's been some posts about it around here - mostly about the dumplings, though)
              Chef Liu too - I've been a big fan of Chef Liu, but the last few times less so.
              http://www.jatbar.com/menu.asp?num=720 . I usually get a plate of dumplings - not the best, not the thinnest, but very satisfying.

              Unknown what kind of noodles Hong Kong Bistro uses. What a strange joint - the only chinese place I know that serves a turkey club.

              When Chef Wang was on Castro, they had a neon sign with the chef pulling his own noodles, but that's gone now (some googling shows Chef Wang -> Lucy's -> closed). I also miss Food Street.

              Here's a handpulled noodle thread from a few years ago:

              1. k
                kc72 Feb 11, 2009 05:41 PM

                I think they're knife cut, but I liked some of the noodle dishes my relatives ordered at Fatima in Cupertino (not sure how far that is for you).

                1 Reply
                1. re: kc72
                  Melanie Wong Feb 14, 2009 04:15 PM

                  Yes, Fatima's are knife-cut.

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