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dao xiao mian: JTYH, Ma's Islamic Chinese, or elsewhere?

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david kaplan Feb 22, 2010 04:11 PM

I will be in southern California for two nights next week and plan to be noodling around. Last year, a similar question turned up Ma's Islamic Chinese

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/603319

though I ended up trying other noodles that trip. Ma's is on my list this time. But I see that, in the last year, JTYH opened and might now be the last word in noodles:

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

Two nights, two places: would be no problem except I'm in Orange County Monday night (near Ma's) and in LA on Tuesday (nearer JTYH), and JTYH is closed Tuesdays.

Is JTYH amazing enough to be worth a special trip Monday during evening rush-hour from Huntington Beach to Rosemead?

Are there other great dao xiao mian places around LA for Tuesday (anywhere SGV is fine)? Or hand-pulled noodles? I could go there Tuesday night and Ma's on Monday night.

Thanks for all your noodle advice.

Finally: where in southern California would I go to buy my own dao xiao mian knife? I was unable to find one in either San Francisco or Hong Kong.

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  1. ipsedixit RE: david kaplan Feb 22, 2010 07:23 PM

    Aside from JTYH, you can also get them at China Islamic and Kam Hong (both in SGV).

    Hard to say whether JTYH is worth the heinous struggle through the 405/605/10. It's a personal thing, but if it were me, I wouldn't bother.

    As to the knife question, you can use just about any long chef's knife. Just make sure it's really sharp. The rest is just a matter of timing. Cut the dough, not your fist.

    1. s
      sidwich RE: david kaplan Feb 22, 2010 08:18 PM

      JTYH is excellent, but China Islamic's dao xiao mian is very good as well. If JTYH meant having to brave the 405 during rush hour, I don't know if even my Chinese carb-loving heart could do it.

      1. w
        will47 RE: david kaplan Feb 22, 2010 08:32 PM

        I think JTYH is my current favorite, but I also like Kam Hong. Haven't been to China Islamic.

        Malan Noodle in Hacienda Heights has a few different shapes of pulled noodles, though IIRC, no knife cut. Pretty good IMHO, and they have some interesting "shapes".

        1 Reply
        1. re: will47
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          suvro RE: will47 Feb 22, 2010 09:14 PM

          I second Kam Hong. Never been there for dinner, but several times for lunch and it has always been excellent.

        2. Chandavkl RE: david kaplan Feb 22, 2010 09:35 PM

          Having once driven from Monterey to Silicon Valley (and back) to check out Chinese restaurants at lunch time, then making the same trip the same day at dinner, I would categorically not suggest driving from Huntington Beach to Rosemead on a Monday night. If you want to drive on your L.A. day you can go to Kam Hong Garden in Monterey Park for knife cut noodles then Malan in Hacienda Heights for some of their various sizes and shapes.

          1. raytamsgv RE: david kaplan Feb 23, 2010 09:05 AM

            I don't think any food is worth the rush hour drive from HB to the SGV. As for the knife, I don't think there's a special knife. Just get a good, sharp knife that can hold its edge.

            1 Reply
            1. re: raytamsgv
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              hobbess RE: raytamsgv Feb 24, 2010 12:48 AM

              I know the OP was asking about dao xiao mian, but I'd give Lotus in Huntington Beach a shot.

              I think the people at Lotus used to work at Ma's, so they share a lot of the same dishes. In fact, I tended to like the ones at Lotus more than an Ma's. So, if Ma's serves those noodles, there's a good chance that Lotus will too but I would call first.

              But, I've never tried the noodles at Lotus so I can't directly comment on them because I tended to stick to their strengths and specialities. And, when I went to Ma's, I did the same- they were more famous for some of their other dishes instead of their noodles. I'm not sure it would be worth that drive to Ma's just for their noodles.

            2. d
              david kaplan RE: david kaplan Feb 23, 2010 09:29 AM

              OK, hearing you loud and clear: even JTYH's noodles are not enough better than Kam Hong's to make a special trip from Huntington Beach to Rosemead at rush hour. Tuesday night, when JTYH is closed, I'll try Kam Hong. Apparently Malan is also closed Tuesdays, so I'll manage with one noodle meal on Tuesday in LA. Thanks for the strong opinions.

              On Monday night, when I'll be in Orange County, is Ma's Islamic Chinese still the best choice for hand-shaved noodles or other thick handmade noodles? Especially interested in spicier preps, with preference for stir-fried/dry over soup noodles. I just saw that Ma's is still 25 miles from Huntington Beach -- I guess I hadn't realized that it would take me from one end of OC to the other -- so is there any place closer to Huntington Beach for Monday night handmade noodles? Hmm, if my option is 25 miles to Ma's or 38 miles to JTYH, maybe JTYH isn't so crazy for Monday night after all ... .

              5 Replies
              1. re: david kaplan
                Chandavkl RE: david kaplan Feb 23, 2010 01:58 PM

                I can't believe Huntington Beach is 25 miles away from Anaheim. I can see a problem getting to Ma's, though, since there's no freeway connecting the two points. There are a couple of other Chinese food nodes closer to Huntington Beach--Artesia/Cerritos and Irvine, both which have a good concentration of authentic Chinese restaurants. But I don't know of any noodle specialists among them. Tri Village, one the few non-Cantonese Chinese restaurants in the Irvine area does have rice cakes and beef noodle soup, but it's a far cry from the other places being mentioned. There are a couple of other Islamic Chinese restaurants in Orange County--Jamillah Garden in Tustin and Lotus Chinese Eatery in Huntington Beach. Both have hand cut noodles. Lotus is obviously more convenient for you, but I'm a little leery because most of the customers are locals who come in for the regular Americanized fare. On the other hand, Jamillah Garden caters to the Islamic crowd, Chinese and non-Chinese, kind of like Ma's does. Not sure if it's any closer to you or not.

                1. re: david kaplan
                  Das Ubergeek RE: david kaplan Feb 24, 2010 10:56 AM

                  Google Maps has a stupid route. Go up Euclid; the lights are timed by the county to be a "through" road. My in-laws live in downtown HB and I live about 5 minutes from Ma's. Even at rush hour it only takes half an hour for me to get from their house to mine.

                  By contrast, going to JTYH at rush hour, even on a Monday, is at least an hour and a quarter's drive and much more likely to be an hour and a half.

                  1. re: Das Ubergeek
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                    david kaplan RE: Das Ubergeek Feb 24, 2010 03:08 PM

                    Very helpful -- and I assume from your comments you don't think that JTYH's knife-shaved noodles are one-hour-each-way better than Ma's?

                    1. re: david kaplan
                      Das Ubergeek RE: david kaplan Feb 24, 2010 03:20 PM

                      No, I don't. They're better, but not so much better that I need to be in the car for an extra two hours and in the wrong, frustrated frame of mind to eat them.

                      1. re: david kaplan
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                        suvro RE: david kaplan Feb 24, 2010 03:23 PM

                        I drove to Manhattan Beach from Pasadena yesterday - and the traffic was smooth both going and coming - but that was during the lunch hour.

                        We went to Kam Hong today, prodded by this discussion, but it was closed today. Ended up at Noodle House Vietnamese in the same mini-mall.

                  2. m
                    miss chai latte RE: david kaplan Feb 23, 2010 06:41 PM

                    Looking at traffic right now on a Tuesday night at about 7:30pm, it is pretty clear from Huntington Beach to JTYH, except for the stretch between the 60 Fwy and the 10 Fwy. You could take surface streets at the point. Something to consider.

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