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Jan 26, 2011 06:02 AM

hand-pulled and knife-shaved noodle round-up

This morning's article in the NYTimes on noodle making in New York

stoked my always-simmering craving for hand-pulled and knife-shaved noodles. Discussions on the board have tackled this but not in a little while, so I'd like to kick-off a round-up of favorite places for hand-made Chinese noodles. What are your current favorites?

Personally I'm on the lookout for places in SF and, even better, SF Chinatown (handmade noodles for lunch!) but let's make this round-up Bay Area wide.

My recent hand-made noodle meals:

For knife-shaved: Shanghai House and Five Happiness, though I haven't been back to Five Happiness since the reported changes.

For hand-pulled: San Dong House.

For hand-cut: Mission Chinese Food has thick, jagged, bouncy noodles in the numbing lamb noodle soup dish.

Shanghai House
3641 Balboa St, San Francisco, CA 94121

Five Happiness
4142 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94118

Mission Chinese Food
2234 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

San Dong House BBQ
3741 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94118

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  1. I haven't been for a while, but I think the best knife-shaved noodles I've had were at Chinjin Eastern House.

    Nix on Old Mandarin Islamic for dough dishes.

    Chinjin Eastern House
    1530 S De Anza Blvd, San Jose, CA

    1. What are the reported changes at Five Happiness?

      Five Happiness
      4142 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94118

      1 Reply
      1. I would say that Vancouver, New York/Flushing, and San Gabriel Valley in Southern California are likely the best places to try these regional Chinese noodle variants that also execute them at a very high level. We don't have that variety and breadth up here unfortunately.

        For Lanzhou style hand pulled noodles, it seems that Ark in Alameda and San Dong House as dk already mentioned are the only places that offer that style.

        Chinjin Eastern House as Robert mentioned is a great Islamic Chinese restaurant. They have two kinds of noodles, thin and fresh. The fresh kind is made in house and is the knife shaved variety. Haven't tried it yet, but I believe it if Robert gives his thumbs up.

        I enjoy the noodles at San Tung in SF (and arguably King of Noodles does something similar and maybe even pulls them in house), although tanspace once reported that the noodles are hand kneaded? but machine cut, although the texture is smooth and light.

        Beijing Restaurant on Irving and Alameda in SF, has some really wicked slurpalicious "hand made" noodles (definitely made in house), and the texture is somewhat parallel to fresh hand made soba, but in a different way. I really enjoyed the clear broth beef noodle soup, although the stewed (spicy) version with a darker toned broth looked good too. Everyday Beijing in San Mateo used to make noodles at the quality of Beijing restaurant (around the time when EB first opened) but they haven't been able to reproduce that flavor. I have yet to try a noodle dish at Taste Good Peking Cuisine in Milpitas, another excellent restaurant that specializes in Beijing cuisine, but I'm sure it will be good there.

        The closest Shanxi noodle joint (correct me if I am wrong) would be JYTH in Rosemead, Southern California.

        Chinjin Eastern House
        1530 S De Anza Blvd, San Jose, CA

        King of Noodles
        1639 Irving Street, San Francisco, CA

        3 Replies
        1. re: K K

          Thanks. JYTH (Rosemead) and Sha-Lin (Vancouver) are my North American reference points for knife-shaved noodles -- I've not been anywhere else outside of China where those noodles are the singular specialty of the house.

          Are Beijing Restaurant's as thin as soba? (And did you mean Alameda or Alemany?)

          1. re: david kaplan

            Thicker than soba but not as thick as udon. Probably similar to San Tung's fresh noodle (as used in soup or $1 more used in fried noodle dishes), but a different tone and texture.

            Alemany sorry, brain fart :-)

          2. re: K K

            Taste Good Peking in Milpitas (Taste Good Beijing) has hand-shaved (oval discs) and another type that are small rectangles of wheat noodles. They were novel for me, tasty, but not as good as the best knife-shaved I've had.

            Here's a random ringer: there's a tiny restaurant that serves American-Cantonese food, but the one Shanghainese dish they have are Shanghainese-style knife cut noodles which were a pleasant surprise. Shanghai China Restaurant. I wouldn't go out of my way for them, but I was starving and had to have dinner within 20 minutes for a nearby performance, and I could have done much worse. Anyone else find something tasty here? The sesame noodles I got last week were um...filling, though they perked up when I got home and added tahini and chili garlic sauce.

            Shanghai China
            1559 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94103