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Garlic noodles

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  • Neta Aug 21, 2009 08:57 AM
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I recently saw an episode of The Best Thing I Ever Ate on the FC. They featured the garlic noodles at Crustacean in Beverly Hills. Now I'm curious as to how these noodles that looked so plain and dry could be so delicious that someone would declare them the best thing they ever ate (chef Duff). I don't think I want to drive to BH just to taste these noodles but I would like to try another rendition. Does anyone know of any restaurant in the SGV that serves this dish, their version? Thanx

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  1. They are one of the "best things I ever ate" too. I could eat them every day. I tried to duplicate them once using roasted garlic in a home made pasta but they weren't the same & I would kill for the recipe. It is part of Crustacean's "secret kitchen".

    1 Reply
    1. re: sparkareno

      Their 'secret kitchen' is in the SGV and it's called Newport Seafood.

      Crustacean makes me sad for people who go there and think they are getting good VN food.

    2. I saw that episode as well.

      The garlic noodles at Crustacean are inedible (as is everything else on that menu). I've lost what little respect I had for Duff after watching and listening to him wax poetic about what amounts to noodles that taste like they were made with lefotver Elmer's Glue from a grade school holiday decoration party.

      Go to Newport Seafood in San Gabriel instead. http://www.newportseafood.com/

      2 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit

        Well I don't even know who chef Duff is and I hate jumping on bandwagons, and while the glue analogy may be just a bit harsh; Crustacean was walking distance from my hosts house who insisted that we go - and yea I would have much preferred it if we had driven through 90+ min of excruciating traffic and dined at Newport Seafood in San Gabriel or any one of scores of the far better and more reasonably priced restaurants in the greater SGV! The famous garlic noodles and everthing else I sampled were just plain dull and boring.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          LOL!! We love that show, but I also went EWWW!! The second I saw that plate of noodles I knew EXACTLY what it was... ... I had a client who LOVED them so I tried them plenty of times (with a smile!) and each time... OVER DONE. Even on the show they looked OVER DONE. The reason they use so much garlic oil is so they just don't fall appart in a heap of starch on the plate...

          --Dommy!

        2. We went just after they opened. I'll say that the garlic noodles were the best thing we had but the cost to value ratio seemed way, way out of whack to me. Very pretty restaurant inside (at least the bar area was nice).

          1. On a trip a few years back to San Francisco, I asked the concierge of the hotel to recommend a restaurant. He told us to go to a Vietnamese restaurant that was very popular with the restaurant community. Upon arriving at the restaurant, who's name escapes me at this time, I asked what were the dishes they would recommend I should have. Garlic Noodles was suggested as the *must have* dish.....so naturally we ordered them......a silly mistake.

            The garlic noodles were nothing more than lo mein noodles with granulated garlic. salt and vegetable oil.....not even a green garnish like parsley or cilantro. To this day it ranks as one of the worst items I have ever ordered in a restaurant.

            1 Reply
            1. re: fourunder

              Crustacean has/had a branch in SF

            2. Crustacean is pretty far down on my list of preferred eateries, but sometimes I have to eat there because of business entertaining.

              Having said that, those garlic noodles are probably the "least bad item" on the menu, if there is such a thing. The "secret kitchen" in the back that cranks these noodles out guards its recipe jealously. I'd guess it's not so hard: Noodles, butter, garlic, butter, salt, and oh did I mention butter?

              7 Replies
              1. re: J.L.

                ... and don't forget a nice helping of MSG.

                1. re: J.L.

                  I guess everyone has their OWN opinion of Crustacean. We go there on special occasions because we like to be pampered occasionally. Their service has always been great for us. Also, we go there with a positive attitude instead of trying to find criticism. The food is good, not great, but the experience is half of the trip there. If one finds the prices too high, then one shouldn't have been there in the first place. There are no coupons or two for one specials offered. Also, they haven't been in business for years and years for nothing. They must be doing something right?

                  1. re: Clinton

                    Hype alone will keep certain L.A. restaurants afloat for eons. Crustacean is one of them. Us Chowhounds are in the minority.

                    1. re: Clinton

                      I went there once, with a positive attitude and high expectations, and was very disappointed. I think the thing they are doing right is having a nice beverly hills location and cool koi poond built into the floor, because it certainly isn't the food.

                      1. re: Nicole

                        Maybe they should cook the koi?

                      2. re: Clinton

                        I think greasy food and a location near CAA has more to do with their popularity than actual good food. Rappers love the place, and that says it all for me.

                        1. re: Ideefixed

                          CAA no longer near them (they are now giving their expense account business to Craft in Century City).

                    2. I'm gonna get killed for this, but Yardhouse has garlic noodles which I find tasty. Simple, plain--not The Best Thing I Ever Ate--but very solid.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: OCAnn

                        I agree. The garlic noodles with edamame and chicken is one of my go-to dishes at Yardhouse. That, and their mac & cheese.

                        1. re: Professor Salt

                          Hi OCAnn, Professor Salt,

                          Oh really? I'm looking forward to trying this the next time I get dragged to Yardhouse. Thanks for the rec. :)

                      2. i have to say that I really liked the ones at the original Thanh Long in San Francisco. I don't know if they're the same at Crustacean here in BH.

                        1. A previous employer took me there. I had the whole roasted crab and the garlic noodles. The noodles were lame and the crab was expensive. On the plus side, nice atmosphere. Oliver Stone and Arianna Huffington were being honored for something upstairs that day. For the price, there is much better to choose from in LA.

                          1. Thanx all. That cured my curiosity and craving. The noodles didn't appear to be so appetizing so I thought it was a hidden wonder. I knew I could count on an honest appraisal from CH's.

                            1. FWIW I find the garlic noodles from pfchangs pretty decent. One of the best things on their menu IMHO

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: ns1

                                I'll second that motion.

                              2. After reading this thread, I had to make my own tonight....

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: OCAnn

                                  Does anyone have a good recipe for the noodles? I've tried a few recipes I Googled but nothing came close.

                                  1. re: Galen

                                    I'll post mine in the home cooking board....

                                2. one more big fat NAY for the garlic noodles at Crustacean. i was watching the show too, and the second i saw the plate i *knew* what it was and i cringed. i had friends drag me to Crustacean once a few years ago, gushing about how we HAD to get those "amazing" noodles, and insisting that it would be one of the best things i had ever eaten...apparently they were under the impression that i'd enjoy clumps of chewy noodles blanketed with a clotted, bitter, greasy paste. man, that stuff was nasty!

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                    I like the garlic noodles @ Crustaceans. I do think the place is too expensive, but I also take in consideration where it is located. But, I know how people on this site tend to rail on places like it (god forbid a rapper/entertainer may like a restaurant!). A bit of an over-reaction in my opinion. . .

                                    I found a website that has a recipe that is very close to the noodles and the crab if you want to make them at home. And, you can control the oil & MSG content.

                                    http://rasamalaysia.com/crustacean-in...

                                    1. re: SouthernFoodie08

                                      It has nothing to do with a rapper/entertainer liking a restaurant, the food just isn't that good. Especially for the price. If a Rapper went to eat Seven Courses of Beef at Vietnam restaurant, I would still like it (and I would have a lot of respect for that celebrity).

                                      I will say that most of the restaurants that cater to celebrities have mediocre food. Just like most places that depend on having a great view tend to have mediocre food. Why are most movie stars photographed at Mr. Chow or the Ivy? That is where the paparazzi hang out. If they wanted good food, they would be eating Dim Sum in the Monterey Park or eating Thai food in East Hollywood. No paparazzi at Jitlada (yet).

                                      1. re: SouthernFoodie08

                                        Thanx for that site. It looks like they have some amazing recipes. I'm with you, I don't care who eats where as long as we enjoy the food. Can't wait to try some of those recipes.

                                    2. Don't take this as an endorsement for PF Changs, because I'm not a big fan of most of their food, but the garlic noodles are actually pretty decent.