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May 31, 2005 07:05 PM

Heavy Noodling

  • r

I'm trying to make it out to Monterey Park this week to go to Heavy Noodling. I've read praise for the knife-cut noodles on this board in the past, but I'm still not sure what I should be ordering. Any help?

Heavy Noodling
153 E. Garvey Ave
Monterey Park

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  1. r
    rabo encendido

    Beef Noodle Soup---Dark, tasty broth, lotsa good tendon, all absorbed by the wonderfully chewy, conveyor belt-sized noodles.

    Seafood chow mein---Very tasty, with the noodles again taking center stage.

    I also like their juicy pork dumplings, but the skin is extremely thick on these suckers.

    Jerome often recs the 'Cat's Ears' (noodles or dumplings, can't remember---the "ears" moniker referring to shape, rather than content). Have not had 'em, but intend to try 'em one of these days.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rabo encendido

      Yes. They're good. They're like orecchiete, they're small slightly shell-like pasta that are sauteed with a tasty meat sauce. I prefer them to the daoxiao noodles. (have already waxed sufficient on the hand pulled ones around the corner at MaLan).

      Remember the tastes and textures of SHanxi food are not going to be similar to those of Yue-cai places (canton/hk) or Taiwanese or Shanghai (jiang-zhe)places. There's some lamb, the textures are stronger, there's garlic... actually more to western tastes than some Chinese cuisines. Enjoy.

    2. Second the endorsement of the beef soup; we have also had the beef and beef tendon soup which is an interesting variation; also if beef ain't your gig, the vegetable soup is really good, as well. So is the vegetable chow mein, also made with those big noodles.

      We always get a few scallion pancakes, which are very good.

      I did find a sizeable piece of plastic floating in my soup last visit, FYI. They were wordlessly gracious about taking the bowl back, but it took a while to get a new bowl of soup.

      5 Replies
      1. re: NAspy

        Thanks for the rec. I'll have to admit that I am a little hesitant to try the tendon, though. Is that at all justified, or should I just suck it up and get after some beef tendon? Because right now, I'm about as stoked to eat tendon as I am to find a piece of plastic floating in the soup...

        1. re: rastan
          rabo encendido

          I'm not completely sure, but I think HEAVY NOODLING has a meat-only, "tendon free" version of the beef noodle soup. If not, it's easy enough to avoid the tendon, as the chunks are large.

          Stuff like tendon ain't for everybody. I would imagine, though, the turn-off for tendon specifically is not so much flavor oriented, as it is textural---the flavor is quite pleasant and accessible, but mouthfeel is sort of like gnawing huge discs of fat.

          I would encourage you to try nibbling on a piece or two, but, of course, no one should eat something they don't like...

          1. re: rabo encendido

            I find tendon wonderfully soft and gelatinous and delicious. If the descriptive, Gelatlinous, sends you urfing - don't get it.

            Or get used to it and learn to love it. I think it's great. Butthen, when I order menudo I get it with the hoof.

            1. re: rabo encendido

              Well, I braved the tendon and I am glad I did. The concept and appearance were less than pleasant, but it was exactly as you described it - like delicious, gelatinous discs of fat. Maybe I can categorize it with tongue in the "looks and sounds gross but is actually quite tasty" group of foods.

              The Mu Shu Cat Ears were fantastic, also - along with the good soup, dumplings (pan-fried and steamed), and chive pancakes. However, the group favorite was probably the bbq beef chow mein. The lamb chow mein was less awesome.

              I'd go back to Heavy Noodling, absolutely. I'll probably get the tendon again, too. Thanks for all the advice!

              1. re: rastan

                Ordered the beef and beef tendon noodle soup today at Heavy Noodling, and I think it was wonderful. The beef was deliciously moist, and the tendons were thick, textured and so savory. I got the medium bowl (zhong) and it came with 3 pieces of beef, 3 pieces of big tendon.

                What really surprised me was the lack of oil on the broth, which was murky and full of flavor. I asked for extra spicy, and usually you get an inch of greasy chili oil, but Heavy Noodling adds fresh sliced jalapenos to add spiciness which is unique and really good. The knifecut noodles were so chewy and doughy I loved them. Out of all the places that I've tried for NRM, Heavy Noodling has to be my favorite. So cheap too - only $4+ for the medium bowl!

        2. We went a couple of months ago based on feedback to this board and were very disappointed. The beef tasted sour and the dumplings were extremely greasy. When we told the waitress we were finished and she asked us if we wanted the rest "to go" we said no and explained why. She just said "oh." Hope you have better luck than we did! Note: it has a "B" rating.

          1. i had the lamb dao shao mian. noodles were good. soup was kinda weak and lacking in flavor in my book.

            there was a good bean thread and vegetable bing. sort of like a large empenada. i cant really remember if there was meat or just tofu in there.

            i love tendon as most asians do. its the best. i'd rather eat a big bowl of tendon than the meat itself.

            1. heavy noodling in my opinion is overrated but to each their own. the broth first of all tasted like watered down pho. the noodles were much too doughy and my palate just got bored. we ordered the beef chow mein and thought we'd get yellow egg noodles but got more doughy ones. the sauce was good but my mouth just got so bored of the food and of chewing all that dang dough. so so overrated.

              4 Replies
              1. re: olivexjina

                curious - pho noodles are rice, these are whieat, they're cut and are like tagliatelle. They're not known for dumplings at all (for the earlier poster), so is pho your standard for noodle soup dishes? Do you like northern chinese food in general and then were just disappointed with this place?

                I'm not saying you should like it. That's obviously your choice. I am just sincerely curious so I can try a place that you really like.

                1. re: olivexjina

                  I generally would avoid any type of chow mein at Northern-style restaurants, as they are a Cantonese dish. Northerners don't usually use egg noodles, which are pretty much standard for Cantonese chow mein. Northerners aren't usually good at making Cantonese dishes--ingredients and cooking styles differ too much.

                  1. re: raytamsgv

                    fair enough, except that every region stir-fries some kind of noodle. If you go to ma lan, they also make a chao mian out of wheat noodles, as do the shanghai/huaiyang places. It won't be the same as the cantonese, you're right.
                    And northern yun-dun and cantonese I guess wonton won't be the same either. But I would be reluctant to claim all stir-fried noodles for the cantonese kitchen, although cantonese cooks do a great job with them.

                    1. re: Jerome

                      Please don't get me wrong: every region has its own noodles. I was merely trying to point out that it is unreasonable to expect really good Cantonese-style chow mein from a Northern Chinese restaurant. It is not useful to compare apples to oranges, so to speak. I actually agree with your original response.