Malan in Hacienda Heights: hand-pulled noodles in your soup
I took the four of us to Malan last night. The show begins when you order the noodles for your soup: a silent, serious guy in the kitchen starts waving a blob of dough around. Suddenly, he shoves his fingers into it and the blob separates. The way he holds his fingers is dictated by whether you ordered triangular, flat or round noodles. After about a minute's worth of gyrations, he lowers a huge skein of noodles into the soup. The bowls are HUGE. The noodles are long: I had to use my Swiss Army knife to cut them in the bowl and my wife did the same. Might I suggest kitchen shears?
The broth is beefy, a little less subtle than pho, with lots of green onions on top. My wife said she got a lot of gristle; I found a lot of well-done beef (brisket? hopefully not tongue) falling apart in mine. Chunks of radish or daikon in there as well, I think. I ordered the green onion pancakes: let them cool, then I like to shred them and drop them into the soup...bliss. Little soy sauce, little chili oil, wow.
Our 13-year-old ordered the spicy pork chow mein. It was good; be aware that the peppers are jalapenos and not bell peppers! He liked the dish, but he saw the noodle soup and tried it as well- a first for such a picky eater.
The manager? owner? was so nice without being over-solicitous, making sure we had enough bowls, plates, offering us forks. I've been the only Anglo here on previous visits and felt like my actions were being...'narrated' for the other diners, but he was just a great guy.
I dig this place, I really do. I'm taking my high school food club if they haven't succeeded in finding an affordable Polish place within carpooling distance.
They only take cash, they closed at 9ish when they had said they close at 10 (slow night?), and what's with the guys in the parking lot changing their shirts before going into the sauna next door?
2020 S Hacienda Blvd, Hacienda Heights, CA 91745