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Aug 7, 2010 08:01 PM

Reno: Authentic Chinese soup at Jia's Wok

I found some tasty, authentic Chinese food in Reno and it's worth sharing with other Chowhounds. It's at Jia's Wok on Plumb Lane, in the same shopping mall as the now closed Moscow deli.
I learned about it when I saw a positive review for Jia's on a website I guess we're not supposed to name here on Chowhound. I was surprised because I had tried the food at Jia's Wok when it was at Park Lane and at a second location they had on Prater Way in Sparks and neither seemed that good. It's Americanized food they make in advance and serve out of a hot tray. But I went today and tried the spicy beef soup and it was excellent.
I told them I liked spicy food and they didn't fool around. This was really spicy.
The spice mostly comes from a dried red pepper you stir into the soup. They also have a fresh green pepper that adds some zip. They also add onions and cilantro, slices of meat like you get in Vietnamese pho and cubed beef like you get in stew. The noodles are big and tasty. I can't say they're hand pulled but they're excellent.
The soup is a steal for $6 a bowl.
Perhaps Yimster will stop by Jia's Wok next time he is in Reno and give the place an official once over instead of getting claims of authenticity from a gweilo like me.
The woman I believe is the owner said this is the recipe for soup from her home city in China. She said the name but I couldn't understand it. She said it is about an eight-hour drive from Sichuan.

Jia's Wok
477 Plumb Ln
Reno, NV 89502
(775) 827-1188

Jia's Wok
477 E Plumb Ln, Reno, NV 89502

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  1. We're going to be back in Reno next week. We will defintely check it out. And, hey, it's cooling down to about 90, right? Perfect cool weather for some soup. Thanks, Steve.

    1. On my list for my next trip along with the Chicken Fried Steak recommended by c oliver. Maybe a chow down coming up on my next visit. Was it as good as Ark's?

      4 Replies
      1. re: yimster

        We haven't eaten there yet but I did stop in to see if they had a to-go menu which they don't. Talked to the ladies and was impressed with them. I told them about ordering "chow mein" in Manhattan from a take-out place and getting what I later found out (thanks CH) was Americanized Chinese food. Meat, brown sauce, sprouts, etc but no noodles. Wondered why they asked if I wanted steamed rice or refried. They got a good laugh out of that and assured me that wasn't what THEY consider chow mein.

        We live at Lake Tahoe and our upcoming travel schedule is active but I sure do hope that you're around when we are --- or vice versa.

        ETA: They DO takeout, just don't have a menu.

        1. re: yimster

          No, definitely not at the level of Ark's. And now I have to retract my hand pulled noodles comment, since the Ark noodles are in another universe.
          But I stopped by last week for another meal and got the beef and tomato and it was pretty good. And coming from a gweilo, surprisingly authentic for Reno.

          1. re: SteveTimko

            I'm definitely up for a Chowdown at Jia's, by the way.
            Here's a photo of the tomato beef soup.

            1. re: SteveTimko

              Keep us in mind although we're more gone than home from 9/7 til 10/12ish. Cold at the lake so that soup looks really great.

        2. I'll check it out next week and report back. I am getting desperate for good Chinese in Reno. Been here 2 months.

          4 Replies
          1. re: kwan.soo

            We really like Chinese Duck House on S. Virginia. They even make to order a few dim sum dishes.

            Chinese Duck House
            2960 S Virginia St, Reno, NV 89502

            1. re: c oliver

              I think most of the Duck House dim sum is premade in China and imported.
              Try Oriental Express on McCarran between Glendale and Greg in Sparks. I also like Caie's.

              1. re: SteveTimko

                Thanks for the rec in Sparks. I keep meaning to try Caie's but the last year dealing with family stuff has kept us more central. I seem to remember that their dumpling operation is in Carson, right? Do they have a restaurant there also?

                1. re: SteveTimko

                  Steve, frozen dim sum is made here in the states, Bay Area and LA. Easier and fresher then from China. Also getting it pass customs is a job too. Next trip you make to the Bay Area maybe we can see a few factories.

            2. Well, I managed to get Yimster to try the soup at Jia's Wok. I'll let him describe it, but he thought it was good. Yimster asked for wheat noodles instead of rice noodles. It's something I'll consider next time. July isn't the best soup weather, but Jia's Wok is certainly worth your consideration if you want authentic Chinese soup.
              This was Yimster's soup, beef with wheat noodles
              This was my soup, beef with tofu and peanuts

              Jia's Wok
              477 E Plumb Ln, Reno, NV 89502

              1 Reply
              1. re: SteveTimko

                Well it is authentic, time and effort went into the making of the broth. It had a depth in flavor which many spices, meat and vegetables were used along with hours of slow simmering. The beef was well braised but still had enough texture to be toothsome. The pickled mustard green lent a nice touch. As good as the soup was the noodles were very plain. Just dry noodles nothing like hand pulled or house made with machines. With all that said I would return if I an ever in Reno on a cold day. But like Steve Timko a bowl of hot soup on a July day is not exactly my bowl of soup.

                Glen I think you should go. I too almost left when I saw the stream table of Chinese food. But the soup are worth a try. Tomato Beef in next on my list.