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Anybody's been to Tasty Noodle House?

f
fkingford Mar 13, 2010 01:56 PM

It's J. Gold's new fave and I wanted to get Chowheads' two cents worth since when it comes to regional Chinese cuisine your - you know who you are! - depth and breadth of knowledge is, well, the gold standard. Pun intended.

  1. c
    conor610 Mar 13, 2010 06:55 PM

    We went for lunch today and it was delicious. The hot and sour soup was, as Gold reported, fantastic; the pork and leek dumplings were exemplary. Jellyfish head was tasty but didn't seem quite as worthy of exaltation--it's all about the texture, though, so if you're already a jellyfish fan, you'll probably like this version. All in all, a really excellent meal at a very reasonable price.

    1. p
      PandanExpress Mar 14, 2010 03:50 PM

      I've been a couple of times before its owner-change and a couple times since the change. I really like the jellyfish head but I can understand if it's not everyone's cup of tea. It really is about the texture -- if you like the crispy/crunchy texture of regular slivers of jellyfish, but want a bit more body, jellyfish head is for you. The dressing is also quite vinegary and nice in that Northern Chinese cuisine sort of way.

      I had a short chat with the lao ban niang (boss lady) the other night because of some confusion on the menu. The Chinese lettering outside says something to the effect of "northern Chinese cuisine" cuisine, but the menu is more broad with some Szechuan dishes thrown in. When I asked her about this, she said since her area's cuisine (northern China?) isn't part of the 5 (or was it 4?) notable regional Chinese cuisines, she had to adopt dishes from other regions to fill up the menu.

      One of the things I like about Tasty is their buns. The pork buns (pan-fried) are great and the doughy wrapper has a bit of saltiness to it as opposed to the sometimes sweet doughy wrapper. They also have vegetarian buns, but the weird thing is that they pretty much refused to pan-fry the vegetarian buns even though it's on the menu under 'steamed or fried'.

      The 3 savory flavors dumplings (shrimp, pork, and sea cucumber dumplings) are also good, but make sure to eat them steaming hot because they lose a lot of flavor when cooled down.

      I'd skip the green onion pancakes since you can probably get better elsewhere.

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      Tasty Noodle House (Yi Pin)
      827 W. Las Tunas Dr., San Gabriel, CA 91776

      1 Reply
      1. re: PandanExpress
        f
        fkingford Mar 15, 2010 05:52 PM

        Thanks conor and Pandan. You've given me enough to make a trip this week worthwhile.

      2. c
        chowchow12345678 Mar 16, 2010 07:56 PM

        Is this the little place in the same strip mall as Golden Deli?

        1 Reply
        1. re: chowchow12345678
          p
          PandanExpress Mar 17, 2010 12:07 AM

          Yep. It's on the same side of the strip as Golden Deli, but maybe 2 doors down. It's the last restaurant in the corner (away from the 7-11)

        2. o
          odub Mar 17, 2010 05:12 PM

          Besides JG's review, my uncle has been raving about this place. He claimed it had the best beef noodle soup (niu ruo mien) in the area - pretty high-praise but my uncle also has extraordinarily good taste in food so I take what he says seriously.

          In any case, my parents are in town from Shanghai so my wife and I went out with them to check out Tasty Noodle (where, as it would be, we ran into my uncle!) and I have to say...

          It was the most fun I've had in a Chinese restaurants in years, at least outside of Shanghai. I just like being surprised and trying dishes that are off the beaten path (as well as well-executed favorites). Here's what we ordered:

          *Scallion pancakes - thin, crispy and plentiful. Easily some of the best I've had in the SGV. The thin-ness is what makes the big difference here.

          *Cold appetizer of flat, mung bean noodle, shredded pork, cucumbers, fungus, sea cucumber and a few other ingredients. This was great; a really brightly flavored dish with incredibly clean, fresh notes, accented with the slightly sour tang that JG mentioned in his review. Not everyone at the table liked the noodles (a bit slimy if you're not used to mung bean noodles) and I wish there was less liquid in the dish but completely *unlike* any other Chinese dish I can remember having in quite a while. Totally recommended.

          *Beef noodle soup - The best in the SGV? I don't know about that; I've tried the dish at probably a dozen or so places and I'm still most partial to Mama's Kitchen. However, the NRM here was very very good, at least the 2nd best I've had in the area. Loved the thick, al dente homemade noodles and the broth had a nice balance of heat and sourness.

          *Seafood combination. Basically, a stirfry of different seafood items. It was well-executed just not that interesting. I'm not quite sure why my mom ordered this but there were far more intriguing sounding seafood dishes on the menu.

          *Pork sparerib stew. We had wanted to get the pork belly stew but they were out. This dish came with pork spareribs, potatoes, a bit of tomato, and a simple, clean broth. According to my mom, it's a very Northeast Chinese kind of dish. I've had variations on this other places but nothing quite so well-executed in its simplicity.

          *Pan-fried pork bao (sheng jian bao). I'm used to the Shanghai version of this dish which tends to have a crisper skin. The version at Tasty Noodle is distinctly lighter; it falls somewhere between a potsticker and a XLB, with a much better, thinner skin than the thick one Kang Kang puts on their SJB. These were so easy to pop in your mouth - satisfyingly chewy, with a pork filling that just needs a dash of vinegar to brighten things up. I wouldn't say these so incredible that you absolutely *need* to order them but if you like bao? Yeah, absolutely order them.

          Total for four adults + child = $48.

          I'm looking forward to going back again ASAP, hopefully to try a new set of dishes. Their menu is deceptively long so be prepared for a few return trips to properly sample.

          1 Reply
          1. re: odub
            f
            fkingford Mar 20, 2010 05:23 PM

            Thanx odub . I'll make a copy of your post and take it with me when I go there next week so I know what to order. The place sounds wonderful. Thanx to your uncle too.

          2. liu Mar 22, 2010 10:38 AM

            We were there on Saturday morning for breakfast/lunch. We thought they opened at 11:00am, but they were a little late in opening. We sat down about 11:30am, and the owner was very gracious in serving us tea and menus immediately.

            The pork-leek-shrimp dumplings were really delicious! The other dish we ordered was the cold vinegar pork with the huge flat noodles. This was very tasty and refreshing. It was not heavy at all and, on a warm day, I enjoyed that it was served chilled.

            While we were eating, many people peeked in and then proceeded on to Golden Deli. Golden Deli was jammed when we passed by it on our way out about 12:30pm. I do hope that some of those customers will give Tasty Noodle House a try...it was very good!

            -----
            Golden Deli
            815 W Las Tunas Dr, San Gabriel, CA 91776

            Tasty Noodle House (Yi Pin)
            827 W. Las Tunas Dr., San Gabriel, CA 91776

            2 Replies
            1. re: liu
              s
              sidwich Mar 22, 2010 01:17 PM

              Don't worry. I visited a friend of mine out there on Saturday, and after feeding her toddler, we were running late for lunch. We didn't get to Tasty Noodle House until about 1, and there was quite a crowd waiting by then. They were clearly overwhelmed by the line of waiting to get into the restaurant, and a tussle between waiting patrons almost erupted at one point. It was almost like being in the Old Country. :)

              Food was very, very good. One pork/leek/shrimp dumpling, one tianjin baozi (light and fluffy!), one beef noodle soup, and one green beans ran about $30 before tax and tip with enough for leftovers the next day.

              -----
              Tasty Noodle House (Yi Pin)
              827 W. Las Tunas Dr., San Gabriel, CA 91776

              1. re: sidwich
                liu Mar 22, 2010 05:55 PM

                Oh, good to hear, sidwich! At about noon, I would have thought that Golden Deli was ruling this little strip mall, but I am glad to hear that Tasty Noodle House has its share of happy customers!

                I, too, just today for lunch enjoyed the leftover cold vinegar noodles; they were still delicious!

                -----
                Golden Deli
                815 W Las Tunas Dr, San Gabriel, CA 91776

                Tasty Noodle House (Yi Pin)
                827 W. Las Tunas Dr., San Gabriel, CA 91776

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