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Hand Pulled Noodles in Los Angeles?

Where can I get hand pulled noodles in LA (Chinatown, Santa Monica, etc)? I'm sure there are some fine purveyors in San Gabriel, but I would greatly prefer to not drive too far from LA.

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  1. Honestly, not going to find any good ones. Go to SGV.

    1. If you aren't looking for Chinese noodles specifically you could try one of the Korean noodle houses in Koreatown like Ma Dang Gook Su or Olympic Noodle.

      -----
      Ma Dang Gook Su
      869 S Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90005

      1. Malan in Hacienda Heights.
        Noodles are hand pulled to order.
        2020 S Hacienda Blvd # B
        Hacienda Heights, CA 91745-4265
        (626) 369-5602

        8 Replies
        1. re: monku

          Hacienda Heights is about as far east as you can go from Chinatown or Santa Monica ...

          1. re: ipsedixit

            Yeah, but what where else can you get hand pulled noodles to order and specs.
            OK....how about Dumpling Master in Monterey Park (little closer).

            1. re: monku

              In SGV (at least the western part), the best hand pulled noodles -- in order -- are probably Kam Hong, Ding's, Mama's Kitchen, and then a distant third would be Bamboodles.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                +1 to Kam Hong: hell, yeah.

                Best you'll do in Chinatown is... uh... Mandarin Deli? Haven't been there in ages, but they make a good noodle (or at least they used to). I'm not sure if it's hand-pulled, but it's rough, and hand-made in some fashion. It's about a league behind Kam Hong, but it's still pretty tasty.

                You have to ask specifically for the hand-made noodles, and they'll charge you an extra dollar.

                Good fish dumplings, too.

                1. re: Thi N.

                  Mandarin Deli does not have in-house hand pulled noodles.

                  When they used to offer hand pulled noodles, it was outsourced (brought in daily, fresh). Now, I dunno if they even offer the option.

                  Same thing happened to Dumpling House in Temple City -- no more in-house hand pulled noodles.

                  1. re: Thi N.

                    I believe Mandarin Deli is now a gift shop.

                    1. re: Chandavkl

                      Yeah, Chinatown Mandarin Deli closed several years ago.

                      Mr Taster

                      1. re: Mr Taster

                        Mandarin Deli in Northridge offers hand pulled noodles as a substitute to machine made for an extra charge. No idea who makes them.

                        -----
                        Mandarin Deli Restaurant
                        9305 Reseda Blvd, Northridge, CA 91324

          2. phillipe chow is about to open in the old dolce space on melrose. big stink between phillipe's and mr chow for bragging rights to who can charge the most for chinese food in west hollywood/beverly hills. but back to the point....phillipes serves hand pulled noodles even to the point of showing diners how's it's done with a presentation in the dining room. see "cooking school" on their website. but it ain't gonna be cheap. for the latter, sgv.

            6 Replies
            1. re: eder

              http://www.chow.com/profile/11933

              1. re: eder

                For the price of two people having handpulled noodles (la mian) at anyplace even remotely connected with Mr. Chow, you could hire a limousine to take you to Malan, drink champagne along the way, eat the noodles there, and come back.

                Even if you waste 4 gallons of gas coming and going, you're still ahead -- Malan's are $5.50 and $6.50, and you can choose the kind of noodle you want -- a (virtual) dollar says Mr. Chow's fancy restaurant will serve exactly one kind of pulled noodle.

                1. re: eder

                  " .... but it ain't gonna be cheap ..."

                  ------------------------------------------------------------------------

                  It ain't gonna be good, either.

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    Not to be nitpicky but since when is the SGV not in LA? I mean, it's about as close to downtown as Santa Monica is.

                    As for hand-pulled noodles, doesn't JTYH offer them, in addition to knife cut?

                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/649863

                    1. re: odub

                      As to whether SGV is part of LA, I think debating it is rather otiose given that the OP specifically said ...

                      "I'm sure there are some fine purveyors in San Gabriel, but I would greatly prefer to not drive too far from LA"

                      which by implication means that the OP would rather *not* head east to SGV ...

                      Re: JTYH.

                      No, they don't have "hand-pulled" (or 拉面) noodles in the traditional sense, at least not according to the menu. Says they have "hand kneaded" (or 手揉) noodles, in addition to the knife cut (or 刀削) noodles.

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        Second JTYH. We had a great meal there 2 weeks ago. Really good knife-cut noodles.

                2. Do any of the places, like Ma Lan, allow you to watch them hand pull the noodles?

                  I'd love to surprise my Mom with the experience. Also, if you can help -- do I need to specifically ask for them to be hand pulled at Ma Lan (I don't want to confuse this with knife cut), and do a bonus thanks if you can offer up a recommendation for your favorite noodle prep/sauce. Thanks!

                  26 Replies
                  1. re: debra

                    Malan has a little chart on the fridge with pictures of all the different types of noodle they offer. I believe most shapes are hand-pulled or hand-cut, but definitely, they will ask you when you order what shape you want. Some dishes are only available with certain types of noodle. There are some super wide flat ones as well as more standard shapes. I like the triangle shaped ones - I'm not sure exactly how they make them - some might be 'shou gan' vs. 'shou la', but all have good texture and "Q". I don't eat meat, but I think the beef noodle soup would be the standard there. I have had their vegetarian soup as well as vegetarian chao mian, and both were pretty good.

                    If you can't speak Mandarin, you can point on the chart. They [Malan] don't have dao xiao mian (knife cut) in the sense that you're thinking about at all. Sometimes you will see a guy making noodles, but they don't generally pull / cut them to order in my experience. Kam Hong is sort of the same deal - once in a while you'll see a guy pulling noodles out front, but usually not. If you really want the visual drama, you could try Bamboodles.

                    My gf put some pics of a couple types of noodles (medium flat and triangle-shaped) on her site here:
                    http://www.runawaysquirrels.com/2008/...

                    -----
                    Bamboodles
                    535 W Valley Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776

                    1. re: debra

                      The kitchen is open to the restaurant, so you can absolutely watch them do it.

                      They don't do knife cut, so no worries. All noodles are hand-pulled.

                      1. re: Das Ubergeek

                        I finally got the chance to bring my mom to Malan for the hand pulled noodles. Watching them hand pull to order was a real treat, (and the eating was fun and delish too). The fresh noodles had amazing elasticity and a really nice bite, and at 2 or 3 feet a noodle -- a fun challenge to eat. Service was very friendly. We had their Malan Beef Soup, the broth was unexpected, deep and earthy, with kind of a spice base that reminded me more of a vietamese pho than the more mild chinese broth I was expecting, it was really tasty, with a few slices of well cooked beef, and lovely chewy triangle noodles. We also had the pork chowmein, which was nothing extraordinary, although very good with the fresh noodles and tasty bits of cabbage and pork. The Malan Cold Noodles were nice, bean sprouts and cuke were refreshing with a mild sesame sauce. The star of the show was the Chicken with Chef's spicy sauce. I asked for it medium spicy, which worked out nicely, studded with a few chiles and sichuan peppercorns, it was delicious -- super wide, chewy noodles, a nice portion of fairly tender, long cooked chicken, hacked up (watch out for splinters) with some onion (so tasty, we ended up dumping the remaining chowmein into the sauce). A great time (and meal) was had by all.

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                        Malan Noodles
                        2020 S Hacienda Blvd, Hacienda Heights, CA 91745

                        1. re: debra

                          If I am not mistaken, Malan is next to SiHai (Four Sea) Restaurant. I would love to bring my family to watch them hand pull our noodles to order. Is this something they do throughout the day?

                          1. re: selfportrait93

                            It's in the same plaza. There is a partially open kitchen area, but I don't think they will necessarily pull them to order while you watch.

                            1. re: will47

                              Noodles are "hand pulled" to order.

                              1. re: monku

                                Perhaps, but I'm not sure they're hand pulled to order *somewhere visible*. I've eaten there several times, and don't remember seeing anyone pulling noodles in that open area.

                                1. re: will47

                                  My experience is you place your order and a guy in the kitchen behind the counter takes some dough and depending on the type of noodle you order he makes them right there.

                                  http://www.chow.com/restaurants/18482...

                                  1. re: monku

                                    This has been my experience every time at Malan. The dough is directly behind the counter. They pull the noodles to order and sling them into a wok of broth across the kitchen. Perfectly visible.

                                    1. re: monku

                                      My experience exactly. They hand pull to order, you can watch yours and everyone elses being made. Depending on the shape you choose, the guy behind the counter makes a rope, or flattens out a blob of dough, then pulls and pulls, and pulls. It wasn't crowded while we were there, so we sat right next to the counter, front and center. If you didn't know they pulled by hand, and sat to the side, it would be possible not to notice it happening, It takes just a few seconds to pull an order. I highly recommend the noodles (and the show).

                              2. re: selfportrait93

                                Malan puls their noodles to order so yes throughout the day.

                          2. re: debra

                            If you want a show, go to Bamboodles.
                            http://bamboodlesrestaurant.com/index...

                            -----
                            Bamboodles
                            535 W Valley Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              Been to Bamboodles half a dozen times and never seen the show.
                              The stage is set, but the performer is a "no show".

                              -----
                              Bamboodles
                              535 W Valley Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776

                              1. re: monku

                                I was able to see it once when I was there for dinner. They actually do use that table to make it every morning. Noodles were always good, along with the wontons. RIP Bamboodles as of today.

                                -----
                                Bamboodles
                                535 W Valley Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776

                                1. re: luckattack

                                  What do you mean RIP Bamboodles as of today?

                                  -----
                                  Bamboodles
                                  535 W Valley Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776

                                  1. re: JThur01

                                    Something about a change of concept.

                                    1. re: Chandavkl

                                      Went by Bamboodles today. Note on door: we will reopen in 3 days. Blinds pulled, all that was visible was a stepladder placed right by the door...uh oh!

                                      -----
                                      Bamboodles
                                      535 W Valley Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776

                                2. re: monku

                                  I was also disappointed in watching through the kitchen window.
                                  The "noodle master" straddled a fat piece of bamboo and worked the dough several folds before bringing it inside. And that was the show.

                                  1. re: selfportrait93

                                    Actually, that was one of the most entertaining things I've ever seen in a Chinese restaurant.

                                    1. re: Chandavkl

                                      The show in Vegas is better ... the one noodle place in Caesar's ... forget the name ...

                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                        Beijing noodle?

                                        1. re: selfportrait93

                                          Yes, that's it.

                                          1. re: selfportrait93

                                            I just returned from a quick jaunt to Las Vegas. I indeed made a beeline for Beijing Noodle House No. 9, located on the casino floor at Caesar's Palace.

                                            I ordered the standard nio ruo mien (beef stew noodles), in both hand-pulled and knife-cut versions.

                                            Verdict:

                                            I enjoyed the knife-cut noodles more than their hand-pulled noodles. The al dente, "doughiness" that I look for in good Northern noodles are there with the hand-cut.

                                            The beef stew/broth component is also quite good, with lots of chunks of well-cooked beef & tendon. Furthermore, it avoids the mistake that some SGV places (like Pa Pa Walk) make, in terms of the broth being a bit "sweet".

                                            1. re: J.L.

                                              I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed Pa Pa Walk's weird broth. Liang's Kitchen does it too.

                                              -----
                                              Liang's Kitchen
                                              227 W Valley Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776

                                              1. re: J.L.

                                                Price?

                                                Mr Taster

                                                1. re: Mr Taster

                                                  $16.09 per bowl, either hand-cut or hand-pulled... Very "casino" prices.

                                                  N.B. They also offer a Kobe beef noodle, at $99.09 per bowl (!)