HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >

Discussion

If you're look for the best Sichuan Spicy Noodle (or Dan Dan Mien) ...

then go to New Chong Qing.

Call it what you want, spicy cold noodles, dan dan mien, or just the Sichuan version of Mac N Cheese, it's freaking fabulous.

Go. Now.

(Hat tip to TonyC. Did you notice that JGold?? Are you too big to credit someone for a discovery you "discover" later on?)

Cheers.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
    1. re: Neta

      NW corner of Las Tunas and San Gabriel Blvd. Same strip mall where the CVS is.

      And I failed to mention ... a freaking huge bowl is only a whopping $3.99!

      Are you listening Dai Ho?? You go ahead and keep charging folks $6 for a bowl 3/4 of the size and see how long that "noodle nazi" schtick sticks.

      1. re: ipsedixit

        Yep, we've enjoyed the dan dan mein twice now, and wouldn't let them take the bowl away so we could enjoy the sauce. The "spicy and sour noodles" on the menu are different, and a good counterpart - they are cold and also pretty delicious. I like New ChongQing a whole lot. Nice folks, too. Also rec stir fried lamb and also seasonal vegetables (nice cool break from the spice).

        Agree that all hounds should make for the place.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          I concur ipse, I've tried the "Szechuan Cold Noodle" at the big four (Chung King in San Gabriel, Yunchuan Garden, Shu Feng Yuan and New Chong Qing) and while I enjoyed each of them, and all four were remarkably varied - I give NCQ the edge for both value and overall.

          At New Chong Qing, the noodles themselves were the best of the four. And the sauce/flavor was a red pepper infused slow burn.

          If I were to try this at a fifth place in the SGV, where would that be? (the "other" Chung King in Monterey Park?) Apparently, I can't write about it until I have five to compare and do a detailed account :-)

          1. re: JThur01

            I suppose another contender could be Dai Ho.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              Wait a sec...you're sending me to Dai Ho, the "Noodle Nazi"?

              Ok, ipse...I'm on to you :-) Seriously, I was looking for another true Sichuan place. I'm considering Hong Yei on San Gabriel. But, thanks for the suggestion. I've been tempted to try Dai Ho simply for the experience (what would his reaction be to photos being taken?)

              And thanks to those who recommended other dishes at New Chong Qing. And, yes, Bradbury, the decor there is interesting...like the blue lights out front, the lavender walls and mosaic floor.

              1. re: JThur01

                I don't really consider Hong Yei a true Sichuan restaurant.

                I mean, seriously, what self-respecting Sichuan chef would offer up "Peking Duck"??!!!

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  Well, like I wrote, I'm looking for a "true" Sichuan restaurant - not that Hong Yei is, or Dai Ho for that matter. A lot of places have mapo tofu and Szechuan cold noodle that aren't truly Sichuan, well, like Hong Yei and Dai Ho.

                  For "true" Sichuan in the SGV is it the four Yunnan Gardens, the two Chung Kings (SG and MP), Shu Feng and New Chong Qing? Anything else? ipse, you didn't seem bowled over by Yunnan 168. Did you try the cold noodles there?

                  I guess I shouldn't mention the Mexican cooks I ran into - Norteno music on the radio - at one of the "authentic" Sichuan places?

                  1. re: JThur01

                    You might want to try the new Chongqing-Sichuan style noodle house recently unearthed by Tony C. It's called Chuan Yu Noodle Town, 525 W. Valley in Alhambra. I had what was essentialy ma-po tofu over noodles. Quite interesting and very good. Numerous other noodles dishes including Dan Dan Mein.

                    1. re: Chandavkl

                      Finally made it over here (Chuan Yu) the other week after reading about it here:
                      http://eatdrinknbmerry.blogspot.com/2...

                      I think their dan dan mian compares pretty favorably to other places; I still like #1 Noodle House a little more, but this one is very close.

                    2. re: JThur01

                      No, did not try the cold noodle dishes at Yun Nan 168 (not "Yunnan 168" fwiw).

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        Thanks Chandavkl and ipsedixit. I'll have to try those two out.

              2. re: JThur01

                Yeah. I adore the noodles at New Chong Qing.

                1. re: JThur01

                  I like the one at No 1 Noodle House in Rowland Heights. Noodles themselves are pretty standard, but the sauce and salted vegetables are great, and if you order them numbing and spicy, they generally will be.

                  Also really like Mandarin Deli's take. It's not a Sichuan place, so a slightly different style from most Sichuan places I've seen, but the noodles are handmade, the sauce is good, and it's just a little spicy and a little numbing. I get it vegetarian, but it normally has ground pork.

                  1. re: will47

                    I tried the don don noodles for the first time from No 1 Noodle House this last Monday. Very good. Even ordering them at medium there was a good deal of heat.

                    I picked up and order of picked radish from KyoChon next door just incase the heat was too much. It wasn't but nonetheless it paired with the noodles nicely.

                2. re: ipsedixit

                  thanks for the post! love dan dan mien, and agree da ho is quite overpriced albeit very tasty....

              3. Business lunch in Manhattan Bch. area today, boring, boring, boring, dan dan mien at New Chong Qing tomorrow - as the ol' Cajun guy on tv used to say "I gar on tee!" Had some at Shufeng Garden a few weeks back that was pretty good but I need new options!

                1. This sounds great. Any other stand outs on the menu?

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: SauceSupreme

                    Aside from the noodles, I think the place makes a fabulous Kung Pao Chicken.

                    Don't laugh, this isn't the silly chicken sh*t you get at most Americanized-Cantonese joints. A special request, this is good stuff. True dry roasted peanuts, Sichuan peppercorns weathered by the SoCal sun, and enough garlic and scallions to start a small CSA farm.

                    (What?? Chowhound post? You're Facebook account is down??)

                      1. re: tissue

                        Yes, surprisingly.

                        By the way, they make a great fatty beef rice.

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          Is that really how it shows up on the menu? That's great! I just love the name of that dish. Kinda like the Candy Fireworks and Puppy Dog Store.

                          1. re: SauceSupreme

                            Yup, that's the name.

                            It's listed under the heading of "Secret Man Rice Dishes"

                      2. re: ipsedixit

                        Went to NCQ tonight and ipsedixit, you are spot on about the Kung Pao Chicken. Thanks for the heads up on that.

                        And, Will, a belated thanks for the noodle suggestions.

                      3. re: SauceSupreme

                        The pearl rice with pork is outstanding, and the spicy chicken is, IMHO, much better than Chung King's.

                        Despite the evident popularity of the spicy seafood hot pot at New Chong Qing, I thought it the only disappointing dish I tried.

                        P.S. I've seen some wacky art in SGV Chinese restaurants, but the empty IKEA frames with flourescent Post-Its right near the soon-to-be-eaten aquarium at New Chong Qing ... I think there's a conceptual point there that still escapes me ...

                        1. re: Bradbury

                          My Wife and I went for lunch on New Year's Eve. We too, thought the noodle dishes (Dan Dan and glass) were the highlights and the seafood hot pot being just OK in our opinions. While we were there, I was excited by the fact that they took down one of the empty IKEA frames to place a new review (In mandarin??) inside. Maybe somebody can suggest to them that they download this thread and hang in on the wall as well???

                          1. re: Bradbury

                            I couldn't find the pearl rice with pork on the menu. Closest thing is the sour spicy rice and pork under the - is that it?

                            1. re: GHF

                              I *think* it's on the menu as "pork with rice power" [sic]. We were told it's served at dinner only, so didn't get to try it. :(

                        2. i went to lunch here, awesome stuff. Lady said they get crowded at night cause everyone is waiting for the hot pot. Wish i could get people to go with for that. :(

                          Oh that mung bean clear noodle was good too. forget the chinese name.

                          ya that pearl rice with pork is good, it's actually pork belly. Takes awhile to cook i think, so have to order right away. I made the mistake of waiting till we were half way done.

                          1. Awesome -- many thanks for the tip!

                            1. 1+1 Dumplings in Hong Kong Plaza on Glendora in West Covina has some of the best Tza Jiang Mien, Dan Dan Mien this side of the Pacific

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: shawneeboy

                                I like their fish and chicken dumplings, too.

                              2. Thank you ipsedixit! That was awesome. I just went today, almost every table in the restaurant was filled and I was the only white guy there. I good sign from the start. Noodles were awesome. I ordered a not spicy version for my youngster who wolfed them down. If you can handle some spice, I don't recommend the dumbed down version. "regular" is better.

                                Also, you I was intrigued about the "secret service rice dishes". Is that a reference to the way it comes to the table or to the agency that keeps the president safe?

                                Loved the ikea frames too.

                                -----
                                New Chong Qing
                                120 N San Gabriel Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91775

                                1. Hi Ipse! Thank you for this post. I went last night before tutoring and ordered the Sichuan Spicy Noodle. I ordered it spiced between medium and hot. It came not hot at all. I asked the waiter (who steered me in the direction of ordering the Yoghurt Tea which was refreshingly sweet and fruity) for some chili oil/sauce. He asked me if it was not spicy enough, I said no. He came back with the chili oil/sauce and said that the cook forgot to add it. Thank God, I thought I had lost my tastebuds!! It was delicious, as promised!
                                  Just a note: their credit card machine is currently down, so for the time being, they are cash only. They are also open til midnight!
                                  If they had been accepting credit cards, I would have also tried the Kung Pao but I didn't have enough dinero. I was in and out of there in a half-hour. At 5:30 I was the only one in there with the exception of a couple who were finishing.
                                  The waiter was a very pleasant guy who answered all my questions. I asked him what the other people were eating (they had a big pot on a burner on their table). He said the house special fish (I am not positive this is exactly what it is called, but it is the one that has the picture on the top of the menu). I will be getting this next time. He said that it is what they are known for. Maybe I will get the pork waist next time too, since I want to know what that is.
                                  This is a gem. On the north-east corner of Las Tunas & San Gabriel behind the CVS in the corner. Thanks, Ipse!! ;-)

                                  22 Replies
                                    1. re: SeaCook

                                      I think you're right about waist = belly. There is also the "Secret Service Rice Dishes" and "Manifold Mix" (???).

                                      I didn't manage to check out the pork pearl rice (what is it called on the menu?), but will try it next visit...that is, if I can pull myself away from the Spicy Noodle and Kung Pao Chicken.

                                      I've heard the menu at NCQ is the same as the Ding's in the Garfield Lincoln Center in Monterey Park (just down from Shau May).

                                      1. re: JThur01

                                        Sounds good to me! I had a great time reading the menu while I was eating. Will definitely be back!

                                        1. re: WildSwede

                                          It's hard to go wrong with pork belly. :-) Especially at a Chinese restaurant. I think I'll stop by after work and pick up some Dan Dan Noodles it's just the right weather for it.

                                          1. re: SeaCook

                                            Yes! Get some of the chili sauce on the side and if you don't use it, keep it for something else. It is really good.

                                            1. re: WildSwede

                                              I am told they will sell it to you ... if you ask nicely. :-)

                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                Oh they gave it to me(a small portion) for free. They should really bottle the stuff and sell it. The dan dan noodles were great. I was stuck at home with a terrible cold and the heat helped a bit.

                                    2. re: WildSwede

                                      We must have just missed each other WS! My wife and I, too, went and had a fantastic meal.

                                      Ordered the Dan Dan Mien, the Fatty Beef Rice, and the Kung Pao chicken as all were highly recommended. Everything was fantastic, and I had them make it as though they were making it for themselves -- i.e. SPICY!

                                      The noodles were, to me, the best because I'd been craving them, but we had enough left over from the other two dishes to have dinner again from it last night. Some friends stopped by who were initially dubious about driving that far for Chinese, but one taste of the Kung Pao cured them of that notion!

                                      And, we made a stop at Fosselmans afterwards! What a great night!

                                      1. re: a213b

                                        Fosselman's should give a portion of their proceeds to all the Chinese joints in and around SGV.

                                        Seems like every other person who treks out to SGV to partake of some Chinese restaurant always makes a detour for an ice cream dessert ...

                                        Glad you enjoyed your visit.

                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                          WS, a213b...glad you enjoyed your visits. My second trip there, I didn't eat a lot of my noodles, leading the waitress to wonder if they were too spicy. I told her they were fine, I was simply saving them for later. Oh, and the star anise peanuts and cucumbers served gratis are great too.

                                          Not to knock Fosselman's (how could I?), but I have a tendency to eat Sichuan and then stop off for a Taiwanese shaved ice (after walking a bit). The condensed milk over the shaved ice is especially nice after the spicy :-)

                                          1. re: JThur01

                                            Lunch today at New Chong Quig. Tried the Dan Dan Mien, only 2nd time I've eaten it, and far, far superior to Shufeng Gardens. Brought most of it home, because the lady I was with doesn't eat wheat, and we ordered three other dishes.

                                            Ma Po Tofu, a dish I believe that can so easily be messed up. NCQ is better than Chung King's.

                                            Eggplant in garlic sauce was all that I had hoped it would be - delicious.

                                            Fish fillets with dried chilies - the fish was deep fried with what appeared to be a cornmeal batter, but I'm certain it wasn't, numbing Szechwan peppercorns, small bits of green onion, and 1000's of fire engine red chilies. Ah!

                                            1. re: toitoi

                                              I'm surprised you mentioned those two dishes (the Mapo Doufu and the eggplant) - I am vegetarian so didn't try any of their hot pot stuff, but I wasn't impressed with the rice dishes I tried there. Had the mala doufu (mapo doufu without the meat) a while back; I found it not salty or numbing enough compared to the version at the Chung King further south on San Gabriel. I found the yu xiang qiezi (had this at least once, but I think twice) overly sweet. Does anyone know where the owners are from?

                                              I tried the much vaunted dan-dan mian for lunch today; I thought they were decent, but not as good as some of the other places mentioned, including #1 Noodle House. The noodles were a little too soft, the dish wasn't salty or spicy enough for my taste (even when I took a bite that I could see had the zha cai in it, it didn't really taste that salty), and maybe also a little too sweet. I did like the little crunchy beans (they looked more like peanuts, but tasted more like those roasted soy or mung beans used in Burmese food). Even after adding some extra chili oil, I would call it a medium spicy at best.

                                              -----
                                              Chung King Restaurant
                                              1000 S San Gabriel Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776

                                              No 1 Noodle House
                                              18180 Colima Rd, Rowland Heights, CA 91748

                                              New Chong Qing
                                              120 N San Gabriel Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91775

                                              1. re: will47

                                                Rice dishes are not the things to get at NCQ. They're sort of there to make the menu a full two pages. Although for pure comfort food, the tomato egg rice ain't bad.

                                                The times that I've had the dan dan mien and the mapo tofu, I did not find it sweet, nor would I say that they were overpoweringly numbing. And that's what makes it good.

                                                Sure, Sichuan cuisine is known for its peppercorn infused flavors, but that doesn't mean you want a flat one-dimensional dish that is all about fire breathing hot flavors. You still want nuanced flavors that are highlighted with the numbing powers of the peppercorn.

                                                That's one of my biggest grips with Chung King -- they take the peppercorn and elevate it not only above all else, but elevate it so that it is the ONLY thing you taste. Numbing hot oily dishes aren't my thing.

                                                Re: the noodles. These are Sichuan noodles; not Mandarin noodles. Don't expect the body and texture you'd find with Mandarin noodles that stroked and pulled by hand.

                                                -----
                                                Chung King Restaurant
                                                1000 S San Gabriel Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776

                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                  I know the rice dishes aren't the thing to get - was just responding to the poster above who specifically singled those ones out. I don't think that all Sichuan dishes should be overwhelmingly spicy or numbing. For example, I didn't expect the yu xiang qiezi to be overly spicy or numbing, and it wasn't. However, it *was* too sweet for my taste. Old Chung King's take of mala / mapo doufu is pretty numbing, but plenty of their other rice dishes are not overly spicy or numbing.

                                                  I didn't find the Mala Doufu at New Chong Qing to be too sweet, btw, just a little bland and undersalted. I don't remember the numbing aspect really being noticeable at all there. Given that the name is a pun for numbing, I don't think it's unusual to expect that this particular dish to be strongly numbing, especially at a restaurant named for a part of Sichuan that, if memory serves, is especially known for spicy and numbing food.

                                                  I of course did not expect chewy handmade Northern style noodles. The noodles at NCQ were the *type* of noodles I expected, similar to the ones at the other places I've mentioned (#1 Noodle, the older Chung King on San Gabriel). Again, this is personal preference, but to me, they were too mushy. I don't claim to be a food expert, but I do think I know enough to know when noodles are overcooked or not.

                                                  -----
                                                  Chung King Restaurant
                                                  1000 S San Gabriel Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776

                                                  New Chong Qing
                                                  120 N San Gabriel Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91775

                                                  1. re: toitoi

                                                    I don't think you specifically mentioned rice, but dishes that are typically eaten with rice: ma po tofu, eggplant in garlic sauce, fish fillets with dried chillies. I would consider them 'rice dishes.'

                                                    I've only gone to NCQ once, but I found the dishes I had there (ma po tofu and popcorn chicken thing with chillies) bland as well. No, not "not spicy enough" bland, but "needing flavor" bland.

                                                    1. re: PandanExpress

                                                      The meal I shared that day was not bland, or 'not spicy enough'. Perhaps, the young people who work there, and may be the owners, prepare dishes differently. One young man proudly proclaimed he had made the dan dan mien. I loved it.

                                                      The rice I eat is a tiny spoonful at the bottom of my rice bowl, so I am unfamiliar with you call 'rice dishes.' I attempt to avoid starches, which includes bread at restaurants.

                                                      Both the ma po tofu and eggplant had exceptional flavor. The tofu was smothered in hot chili oil. The fish numbed mine and my lunch partner's lips, and the smokiness, imparted by the peppercorns, made the green onions ethereal.

                                                      One chef is not the same as the one next to him/her.

                                                2. re: will47

                                                  I had a really sugary bowl once at NCQ.
                                                  In fact, it was my first bowl there and it way too sweet for me. Knowing ipsedixit is not often THAT wrong :), I assumed I got a dud. I told them and the next bowl was perfect.

                                                  1. re: Ciao Bob

                                                    Next time, just tell them "da la".

                                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                                        How about wo xiang la or wo xihuan la?...

                                                        With several threads covering New Chong Qing, I wasn't sure where to post, but this thread covers more dishes (despite the header), so...

                                                        Like Sea Cook, I had a bad head cold, so I made a couple of visits the weekend before last - once solo and once with my brother. Spicy noodles of course, but also tried out the fried chicken (cubed). I agree with JGold on one aspect, it was very salty - much more so than either Chung King or Shu Feng - but it did the trick as far as my sinuses. Still, I liked it. When delivering the order, the waiter suggested the lamb cubes, saying he thought it was better than the chicken.

                                                        -----
                                                        Chung King Restaurant
                                                        1000 S San Gabriel Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776

                                                        New Chong Qing
                                                        120 N San Gabriel Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91775

                                                        1. re: JThur01

                                                          "How about wo xiang la or wo xihuan la?..."
                                                          _________________________________________

                                                          Sure, but the typical way to indicate how spicy you want a particular dish is the following (at least in Mandarin):

                                                          Hottest: da la
                                                          Medium: tsong la
                                                          Low heat: shiou la

                                            2. re: a213b

                                              I asked for spicy as well, which they gave me with the Kung Pao. It was fantastic. They messed up our order and brought us curry noodles instead of dan dan mien, then realized their error and brought out the dan dan (which was unfortunately not spicy, but still very good). They claimed that the curry was "free because this was our first time"...whatever, man, keep bringing me free food and you can call it whatever you want. 3 (well, 4, including the free curry) dishes, plenty of leftovers, $25 after tip.

                                              I stumbled across JG's review today. Looks like he got whited on his kung pao. Heh heh.
                                              http://www.laweekly.com/2009-12-03/ea...

                                          2. Has anybody been here recently? I don't see any reviews in 2011 (am writing in March) Is Dan Dan Mien still great? Other stand out dishes?

                                            Thanks very much -- have a serious Szechuan craving and don't want it to be a dud!

                                            -----
                                            New Chong Qing
                                            120 N San Gabriel Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91775

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: robert_nysf

                                              I was just there about a month ago. Still good, although I did not get the dan dan mien that time around. Hot pot, lamb and the chicken are good options.

                                              1. re: robert_nysf

                                                We were there Wednesday; the Dan Dan Mien was still outstanding, as was the eggplant in garlic sauce, spicy crispy fish, ma po tofu rice, duck w/ pickled veggies, etc.

                                                Only frustration is the menu: they've re-landscaped it and added a few new dishes, but still haven't bothered clarifying the English translations. I could forgive this if it were a new place where nobody spoke much English, but every server I've had at NCQ has been young(ish) and fluent, so why they couldn't take 15 minutes of spare time and give us something clearer (if less poetic) than "Smallness Pot Fungus" or "Pork With Rice Power" is a bit of a mystery...

                                                1. re: Bradbury

                                                  They don't care about the English translations.

                                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                                    this is my new go-to szechuan place. the dan dan noodles were a revelation. kung pao chicken fantastic. fried chicken cubes great as well. fantastic.

                                              2. Just went last night and the dan dan mien, and everything else, was fabulous. Also had the mapo dofu, eggplant with long beans, and the spicy fried chicken (don't remember the exact name but it's the dish with mounds of chile and Sichuan peppers. Spicy (but not in an all-dominating way), distinctive, vibrant -- nothing like it in San Francisco, where I live. Huge portions, friendly staff, very reasonable prices. Worlds better than Chung King, which was very disappointing when I went last year. Only issue -- a C health dept rating, which gave pause, but looking around, I can't say I noticed anything scary. Will definitely be going back!

                                                -----
                                                Chung King Restaurant
                                                1000 S San Gabriel Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: robert_nysf

                                                  You can get a C from violations such as failing to mop the floor often enough, or having the dishwashing area be too close to the food prep area. I wouldn't worry about it too much.

                                                  1. re: robert_nysf

                                                    New Chong Qing has an 88—a B—according to the LA Public Health website, and has had an A or a B for the last nine months.

                                                    -----
                                                    New Chong Qing
                                                    120 N San Gabriel Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91775