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King of Noodles

does anyone have input or recommendations on this spot? The location on Irving in the Sunset District.

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  1. It was best the first time we went. A few major kitchen catastrophes later and a general decline in food quality has led us to not return. I have no idea why I had to search so hard to find this thread, as it's from the last year, but this might be helpful:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6015...

    1. Actually, in comparison to my first visits when it opened, I think it has gotten a lot better. Less random and chaotic. Their dumplings are much better than the XLB, not surprisingly given their background. And if you go, order the sesame cake dessert at the beginning of the meal. They make these little pastries to order and they are AWESOME. Pale golden flaky discs covered in white sesame seeds and stuffed with steaming hot black sesame paste.

      7 Replies
      1. re: sfbing

        Those sesame cakes sound fab.

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        King of Noodles
        1639 Irving Street, San Francisco, CA

        1. re: sfbing

          A mention of noodles is conspicuously absent from your post ;-) Do you have any favorites from the noodle menu, or are they still on the soft side and taking shortcuts that result in short noodles?

          What are your favorite dumplings? We thought the yellow chive note was too strong in many of them and overpowered the meat, but we've always really liked the lamb dumplings, especially with their house-made chili sauce.

          Are there any veggie dishes you order? Simple as it is, sometimes we got the lotus root dish for roughage but you didn't seem thrilled with it in some of your other posts.

          1. re: SteveG

            I think I prefer a rougher noodle (like at Beijing Restaurant), but judging from my mom and aunt, people seem to prefer the smoother softer noodle at Kingdom of Noodle. You could try asking them to make it more al dente, I suppose. Most everyone is getting the hand pulled noodles, which they are making in the back. They are long enough to be annoying if you are sharing family style. For noodles, I like the pickled mustard greens, the beef stew, and the zha jiang. The special sauce noodle is pretty popular, it is kind of a bastard child of hot and sour soup. They still have a fairly light hand with the seasoning for the soup noodles and one should doctor up the noodles to taste with their chili sauce if you think it is bland. Has anyone tried the mysterious "vanilla tomato noodles"?

            The farmers cucumber is good for a fresh dish, especially if you like garlic. It is pretty much the only green dish on the menu. The lotus root dislike is a personal thing, I think. Just tastes like something my mom would make me eat if I were sick. The "cilantro salads" are really tofu salads-bean stick is yuba, and bean noodles are soy noodles. I like both, but they are very similar so it is a question of which texture you prefer at the moment. The golden mushrooms are enoki mushrooms done similarly to the lotus root. The salt and pepper tofu is what you would expect. Haven't explored much of the marinated meat section because usually people are agitating for dumplings.

            I agree that the dumplings with chive are kind of chivey. I like the classic pork with napa, the lamb, and also the chicken with string beans.

            I confess, right now I am obsessed with those sesame cakes. The noodles are just an appetizer to the dessert main course now.

            1. re: sfbing

              Thanks for the tips, sounds like it's worth a revisit. Do they have the kinks worked out to the point that a weekend lunch wouldn't be chaos?

              1. re: SteveG

                Actually went with 5 people this past sunday. They open at 11.30 and the restaurant was full by the time we left at 12.30. Dishes came out in a reasonable order and no one seemed upset about their orders when I was there. Pretty smooth and the younger waiter now takes orders in English without freaking out.

                1. re: sfbing

                  So it was said King of Noodles is owned by the same folks who run Kingdom of Dumplings restaurant and Kingdom of Chinese dumplings shop. Assuming you've been to KOD, what are the differences between the two food-wise? I recall having beef tendon and spinach pork wonton noodle soup at KOD, and while the broth was good natural and stewed with mushrooms, the noodles were decent but not "wow" or "hand pulled" good. I don't recall seeing that black sesame dessert pastry at KOD though, but it sounds like a winner.

                  1. re: K K

                    I would say that KON and KOD are fairly similar with regard to noodles and dumplings. Just closer to where I live. Also way better than the nearest competitor which would be San Tung, which I find pretty heavy with the MSG.

        2. I"ve been there twice now, and had a good experience the first time and a great one today.

          My first visit, with my partner, I had the Special Sauce Noodle with hand-pulled noodle, which I thought quite good, and the Farmer's Cucumber salad, which was very tasty and a nice foil to the noodles in their flavorful broth. As other posters have mentioned, the cucumbers were chopped up in a random way, as if by a toddler with a butter knife. We ended our meal with the fried sesame cake, which was quite good and unlike anything I've had anywhere else before.

          After I'd ordered my meal on my previous visit, I noted a couple of specials on a piece of paper on the wall, and resolved to return soon to try them. Today, I kept that resolution. My first dish was marinated lamb with hand-pulled noodles. From the name, it was not clear whether this was a soup noodle, but indeed it was, with tender morsels of lamb (not sure what part - shoulder perhaps?) and slices of mushroom in a rich, flavorful broth along with the hand-pulled noodles and slices of baby bok choy. I also tried the black fungus and cucumber, which was a salad, with a similar garlic and soy dressing to that of the Farmer's Cucumber salad. The black fungus was a slimy and crunchy tree ear fungus, I believe, and was a very nice texture contrast to the slices of thin-skinned little cucumbers. This time, they were sliced in even slices!

          Altogether, a delicious meal. It will be hard to order anything else when I return.

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          King of Noodles
          1639 Irving Street, San Francisco, CA

          1 Reply
          1. re: johnrsf

            I had the beef tendon noodle soup, pork feet, and pork and chives dumplings. They were all ok. The pork feet was only $3.95; you get around 5 to 6 good chunky pieces. Not as flavorful as those I had in Beijing, but not bad at all.

            The real standout is the noodles in the tendon soup. Noodles were al dente, slightly thickish, more doughy than chewy, and just a tad undercooked but good texture. The texture and taste of those noodles were very similar to knife cut noodles I had in Beijing recently.

            The only reason I "may" not go back is because the place was too dirty--floor was black, lots of dust, chair legs were all black with dirt, scuff marks, etc.