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Best Chinese Noodles in L.A.

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http://www.discoverlosangeles.com/blo...

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  1. i actually like 4 of the places. that's about par.

    and JTYH is the name of the plaza, it's heavy noodling II IIRC.although i kinda preferred the original dao xiao when it was next to the appliance store 20 years ago.

    i haven't been to silk road, but not even mentioning omar (as another uighur restaurant) loses more credibility points IMO.

    then there's kam hong - as long as you don't mind the watiress/owner trying to get you to order more dishes.

    BTW, http://www.discoverlosangeles.com/blo... was sufficient as a link, unless you're trying to give their site clickstream-type data

    26 Replies
    1. re: barryc

      Is the chef at JYTH (or whatever it's really called) from Heavy Noodling? I hadn't realized the two places were connected.

      My favorite noodle soup at the place is the lamb. *SO* much intense lamb flavor coming through in that broth. Yum.... =)

      1. re: ilysla

        Don't know about the chef or ownership at JTYH Restaurant. All I can tell ya is that I was a regular at Heavy Noodling, went often enough that the servers brought me my little plate of thin-sliced green jalapeños with my having to ask. I was very disappointed when they shut down.
        When I went to JTYH for the first time, at least 2 of the servers greeted me with big grins of familiarity, they remembered me and I them from the old days at JTYH. Food was pretty much the same as before, all was good!

        1. re: ilysla

          http://www.laweekly.com/2009-10-08/ea...

          there is a lineage from DS to HN to HN II.

        2. re: barryc

          Actually, JTYH is the name of the restaurant and the plaza. Heavy Noodling was the name of the predecessor restaurant in Monterey Park. Not sure if they subsequently tacked that on to the end of JTYH's name.

          1. re: Chandavkl

            ... and the next door market.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              I always wondered if the store and restaurant were connected, but now that it's been revealed that it's the name of the plaza, well....

          2. re: barryc

            I don't think Clarissa has been to Omar's. Somehow, that's probably my fault too :)

            1. re: JThur01

              http://blogs.laweekly.com/squidink/20...

              ??

              1. re: blimpbinge

                and she identified omar as uighur.

                1. re: barryc

                  >> Silk Road Garden is LA's Uyghur food specialist.

                  Again, just insert the phrase "one of", add a plural, and there's no issue.

                  >> Silk Road Garden is one of LA's Uyghur food specialists.

                  Or even better:

                  >> Silk Road Garden is one of LA's two Uyghur food specialists.

                  It's just sloppy, sloppy writing because it weaves accurate info with incorrect and imprecise info (i.e. Her reader could not be faulted for coming to the conclusion that there's only one Uighur restaurant in the LA area.) For someone whose goal is to educate and promote the culinary glories of the Chinese SGV, this is a real disservice.

                  This brings to mind a Christopher Kimball (of America's Test Kitchen/Cooks Illustrated fame) NY Times op-ed, which laments the loss of true expertise in a society filled with unqualified "experts":

                  "To survive, those of us who believe that inexperience rarely leads to wisdom need to swim against the tide, better define our brands, prove our worth, ask to be paid for what we do, and refuse to climb aboard this ship of fools, the one where everyone has an equal voice. Google “broccoli casserole” and make the first recipe you find. I guarantee it will be disappointing. The world needs fewer opinions and more thoughtful expertise — the kind that comes from real experience, the hard-won blood-on-the-floor kind. I like my reporters, my pilots, my pundits, my doctors, my teachers and my cooking instructors to have graduated from the school of hard knocks."

                  http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/08/opi...

                  Incidentally, I did Google "broccoli casserole" and the first link sent me to a Paula Deen recipe using frozen broccoli florets, cheddar, mayonnaise and a can of Campbell's cream of mushroom soup, topped with crumbled crackers.

                  Kimball's version used fresh broccoli and two types of cheese (colby and cheddar) melted in a seasoned bechamel (dry mustard and a little cayenne), topped with freshly made buttered breadcrumbs. It was delicious.

                  I didn't bother trying Deen's version.

                  Mr Taster

                  1. re: Mr Taster

                    FWIW, google apparently does accept financial compensation to prioritize certain websites when it comes to searches. almost every recipe i google comes up with a paula dean recipe in the top 2-3. i merely ignore them, or sometimes add "-paula" to the search.

                    1. re: Mr Taster

                      because it weaves accurate info with incorrect and imprecise info (i.e. Her reader could not be faulted for coming to the conclusion that there's only one Uighur restaurant in the LA area.) For someone whose goal is to educate and promote the culinary glories of the Chinese SGV, this is a real disservice.
                      ===============
                      This bigtime. Her instructions to actually eat the giant XLBs after drinking the soup will actually make her readership look like jackasses. It would be like advising her readership to drink the water with lemon slices that they give you to wash your fingers with after the crustacean course.

                      I think many posters here fact check and cross reference more rigorously than she does.

                      1. re: Porthos

                        I think many posters here fact check and cross reference more rigoursly than she does.
                        _______________________

                        ... or just know more.

                        1. re: Porthos

                          you're not supposed to drink that water?

                    2. re: blimpbinge

                      Haha!

                      Sweet Jeebus on a toothpick, I just don't get this girl.

                      We got into this debate in another thread about why Mongolian hotpot is not Taiwanese stinky tofu hotpot and she just wouldn't accept the position they are not equivalent. CW: Hotpot = hotpot. I guess in her eyes tonkatsu ramen = Campbells chicken noodle soup, too.

                      Utterly baffling.

                      Mr Taster

                      1. re: Mr Taster

                        Maybe you should call her out and say just because she's born Chinese, it does not make her a Chinese culinary expert?

                        1. re: TripleAxel

                          No, her ethnicity has nothing to do with it.

                          I should probably be more upset at the editors who don't vet their content. Weblogs are one thing, but Russ Parsons is no schmo, and that East LA thing really should have been caught and filtered before going to print.

                          Of course, that begs the question-- what would an unedited CW piece look like? :)

                          Mr Taster

                          1. re: Mr Taster

                            I've stopped reading her long ago...

                            1. re: Mr Taster

                              "Of course, that begs the question-- what would an unedited CW piece look like?"

                              better written than and at least as informative as 95 percent of chowhound.

                          2. re: Mr Taster

                            Well, when you have articles appearing in the LA Weekly, LA Times, KCET Food Page, and have been asked to provide her expertise in Chinese cuisine in the SGV on one Andrew Zimmern show, that perhaps, it's gone to her head?

                          3. re: blimpbinge

                            Utterly baffling.

                            Mr Taster

                            1. re: Mr Taster

                              I know CW has made it big because she's got a conglomerate of haters on chowhound. You know you did something right when you got haters.

                              1. re: ns1

                                What would that make Chandavkl?

                                Has he done something "wrong" because he's got a cadre of admirers on Chowhound?

                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                  Folks, this whole subthread is getting awfully unfriendly and we've had to remove a bunch of comments from it. If you've got input on where to find the Best Chinese Noodles in LA, that's great and we hope you'll post them, but we think it's about time to let the analysis of the writer go.

                                2. re: ns1

                                  I know there would be no discussion at all and no hate at all if links to her listablogs weren't being put on here 2-3x/week.

                                  1. re: Porthos

                                    anything that stimulates discussion is a plus for me, so i don't mind the links to another writer.

                        2. I would have put noodle boy for wonton noodles instead of sam woo... but no duck..

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: blimpbinge

                            New Dragon in Chinatown for wonton, and they may have roast duck wonton noodle soup...

                          2. Having had a chance to read through the list, I was amazed at the wide range of Chinese noodle cuisines that were covered. If nothing else, it was a real education and eye-opener. I've decided to go and try many of these different cuisines when I can. Also open to other recommendations.

                            Does anyone happen to know how many Chinese provinces/regions are represented in the LA area?

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Ogawak

                              Off the top of my head:

                              Guangdong
                              Yunnan
                              Sichuan
                              Hunan
                              Shandong
                              Shanxi
                              Shaanxi
                              Fujian
                              Taiwan
                              Zhejiang
                              Xinjiang
                              Chongqing*
                              Beijing*
                              Shanghai*
                              Hong Kong SAR

                              An asterisk means that it is a municipality under direct control of the Chinese government. Hong Kong cuisine is a subset of Cantonese cuisine, but it is a separate political entity. Taiwan is a different matter altogether.

                              Within each category, you can have local specializations. For example, Chiu Chow, Hakka, and Hong Kong cuisines are distinct subsets of Cantonese cuisines.

                              Then you have other categories, such as Chinese-Korean, Chinese-Vietnamese, and Chinese-American.

                              1. re: raytamsgv

                                You forgot Jiangsu :)

                                Mr Taster

                            2. I think Shaanxi Gourmet would have deserved a nod(dle) -- actually several, for their excellent Mung Bean, Lamb Soup Knife Cut and Cold Sesame varieties.

                              1. i like how the Discover LA website auto-links all the restaurants at the bottom with a standard template "Make a reservation" button. :>

                                it would be humorous for an out-of-towner to try and give Sam Woo BBQ a call and try and make a formal reservation. :>

                                1. On the subject of Chinese Noodles, did Silver & Gold Amazing (located in the same parking lot as Elite) ever reopen or move to a new location?

                                  Silver & Gold Amazing closed after a fire in the shopping center in April 2010:

                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/699999

                                  Thi's April 2009 review of Silver & Gold Amazing in the Los Angeles Times:

                                  http://articles.latimes.com/2009/apr/...

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: Norm Man

                                    I sure never heard about them reopening anywhere. However, the last time I went there before the fire I learned that the main chef had left and they were breaking in a new one. Also, I believe somebody said that the old chef had moved on to a new restaurant somewhere on Garfield Ave., but I could never track that down either.

                                    1. re: Chandavkl

                                      Chandavkl, thanks for your answer.

                                      Discover LA's list looks pretty good but the list I want to see is Chandavkl's "Best Chinese Noodles in LA" list.

                                      1. re: Norm Man

                                        Hmm. I'd probably go with Gui Lin Noodle, JTYH, Golden Spoon, Janty and for economy, Xi Guan

                                        1. re: Chandavkl

                                          i've not noticed a lot of posts dedicated to gui lin noodle, but i really like their hot & sour noodle soup. it's like a cross between hot & sour soup & pho, with denser chewier noodles.

                                  2. Maybe someone is better qualified to answer this...but Cantonese style noodles...is there more than just wonton or wonton + roast duck noodles in LA + SGV? It seems more like a quick fix pick (maybe based on preference or limited knowledge of what's out there) with known wider appeal than a proper representative of the sum of all parts.

                                    And is Sam Woo's won ton noodle soup really that good, or was it picked due to brand name recognition? I mean it's respectable they're trying to recreate the HK style won ton broth with dried flatfish, shrimp shells, shrimp, pork bone chicken and all....but Sam Woo never struck me as good quality in anything (although to be fair the last time I ate at the MP area location was a long time ago).

                                    As someone who has eaten Cantonese egg noodles their whole life with some of those years in Hong Kong, I've found nothing in Northern Cailfornia proper that is even worth my time (only talking about noodles here)...and the only respectable richer flavored egg noodles I've encountered are the Vietnamese Chinese noodle shops, the Mi Kia's. SF's Hay Ki Mi Gia comes to mind, especially the wider noodles. No doubt Westminster area has a few of these places, including ones Porthos highly recommended before when I was researching food for an OC trip. Then there is e-fu noodles, and other noodle variants (stir fry, pan fry double side crispy etc etc). Then Cantonese mifen / mai fun rice vermicelli which can go into soup or stir fry...typically not as interesting or famous but if done right can be satisfying (particularly stir fry, not that far off in satisfaction from Hsinchu style stir fry mifen).

                                    Cantonese noodles also include ho fun, lai fun (there's a Vietnamese equivalent that is sold at supermarkets, whose name escapes me), and a variant of ho fun but is more Shunde in nature whose texture is very similar to Vietnamese banh cuon to name a few.

                                    You won't find places in HK that specialize in pairing won tons with roast duck, where foodiez flock to them. But you go to a more traditional HK style noodle shop, some of the more common items include lo mein (brothless noodles) of which the Cantonese style ja jang mian is popular (pork strips with a sweet and spicy sauce), pork knuckle/trotter noodles, beef brisket noodles, won ton and shui gow....and of course shrimp roe lo mein. Fish ball noodles are more of a Chiu Chow style, and often paired with ho fun...and they exist as specialist places. Then there is cart noodles which is more of a comfort cheap food phenomenon that moved indoors (nothing to do with Tainan style), where you customize.

                                    So are there better and more Cantonese noodle options in LA + SGV? Will some upscale Canto joint in down do something like an abalone sauce thick noodle lo mein that will be more satisfying than some pasta joints in town (or Sam Woo's roast duck wonton noodles) or stir fry e-fu noodles with lobster roe from a 5 pound beast to kick it up several notches? Honestly the possibilities should be a lot larger....I just don't want to believe that the best Cantonese noodle representative is a chain roasties deli shop, whether they import the noodles or not (and if so...hope they aren't from dried packets). Are those noodles better than what Bamboodles did when they attempted bamboo pole egg noodles?

                                    28 Replies
                                    1. re: K K

                                      Most of the noodle places being kicked around are not Cantonese. Off the top of my head I can think of only a couple of good Cantonese noodle places, Noodle Boy in Rosemead and Har Lam Kee in Monterey Park. That's the only reason why Sam Woo gets any mention at all, and any mention is probably unwarranted. Similar to your experience, the best places for egg noodle soup are the Vietnamese-Chinese places which give you a large number of mix and match options. Places like Pho Broadway in Chinatown or the various places named Kim Kee or Kim Ky. But there's nothing even like New Tung Kee down here.

                                      1. re: Chandavkl

                                        new tung kee?

                                        this one?
                                        http://www.yelp.com/biz/new-tung-kee-...

                                        that serves pad thai?

                                        1. re: ns1

                                          That's a chain, and it's not chow worthy. Maybe the equivalent of typical Hong Kong cafes in SGV in terms of plentiful, easy to access, yet mediocre quality. It's there if you need it, and affordable, but nothing good about it at all.

                                          The pad thai is there for the exact same reason some Chinese restaurants feel the need to have both beef chow fun and XLB on the menu.

                                          1. re: K K

                                            Yeah, but sometimes I'd like to go to a large noodle restaurant with a wide variety.

                                            1. re: K K

                                              so it's like a noodle planet?

                                              1. re: ns1

                                                More of an assembly line operation than Noodle Planet/World

                                                1. re: Chandavkl

                                                  i'm waiting for a noodle galaxy, or better yet, noodle black hole.

                                                  1. re: barryc

                                                    Noodle Supernova (trademarked 2013, J.L.)

                                                    1. re: J.L.

                                                      better yet - this one is plausible:

                                                      big bang noodles.

                                          2. re: Chandavkl

                                            What do you think of New Dragon? They had a write up a couple of years ago about their wonton noodle soups, and my friends and I do enjoy them as well as the HK style chow mein.

                                            1. re: TripleAxel

                                              Wow. I haven't been there in many years. Pho Broadway is the only noodle place I go to in Chinatown.

                                          3. re: K K

                                            kk, I think the problem in LA is that there simply aren't enough hkers, and the cantonese that are in the area don't care as much for specialty noodle shops.

                                            Another thing is, a lot of ABCs think of wonton noodles as a cheap value food (thanks to abc cafe), and no one wants to specifically go out and eat it. Unlike.. pho, for example.

                                            There was once a cantonese noodle-only shop, like noodle boy but more menu items, in the locaton where "sweethome grill" is now. They closed quickly unfortunately. Now I see similar signage at "the congee" in alhambra, I wonder if they moved in there, never tried tho.

                                            1. re: blimpbinge

                                              truth

                                              wonton forest way out there in hacienda heights or w/e had GLORIOUS wonton noodles, but alas they went the way of pho minh.

                                              1. re: ns1

                                                Oh how I miss Wonton Forest the noodles and chili sauce! The owner told me once that his brother worked at New Moon in Santa Clarita, wonder where he ended up?

                                                1. re: sel

                                                  yes, that chili sauce which they sold by the jar...someone please tell me he's still selling that stuff..somewhere

                                            2. re: K K

                                              The answer to your question is, unfortunately, no.

                                              1. re: K K

                                                Trieu Chau in Westminster may actually hold the crown. You can order any noodle dish with thick or thin rice noodles or thick or thin egg noodles. I've seen some champs do both.

                                                The broth is made with simmered pork bones and laced with pickled garlic mustard greens and fatty pork. They have roast duck, roast chicken, salted chicken, wonton, fish slices, pork slices, pork balls, fish balls, fish cake, liver, shrimp, beef slices, beef brisket, beef tendon, squid, fried tofu, and probably several other choices I am not aware of in any possible combination you want. You can order it in soup or dry. This place is the anti-no substitutions restaurant. You can get it your way, any way.

                                                The above probably only makes up 1/4 of the menu if that. They do pan fried noodles, chow fun, congee, etc, etc, etc.

                                                http://www.yelp.com/biz/trieu-chau-sa...

                                                1. re: Porthos

                                                  trieu chau is one of the better teochew noodle houses in oc, but they really aren't too different from the teochew places in 626 in terms of taste. The only real diff is the duck they toss in.

                                                  in hk, there are so many noodle houses and the good ones are quite competitive. My hk friends take me to eat at a lot of hk/gd and teochew-style places there and the taste, selection, styles vary a lot, it's difficult to compare to socal's southern chinese noodles.

                                                  Esp when both hai ki and trieu chau are teochew-vietnamese immigrants, not directly from hk or guangdong (or singapore/malaysia), so the styles are all similar.

                                                  I'll be on the lookout now, but I think my previous post still makes sense.

                                                  It also wouldn't hurt to just ask the shops to make exactly what you want. A few of the shops I go to just charge me more to add other toppings

                                                  1. re: blimpbinge

                                                    In case some are wondering, teochew = chiu chow

                                                    1. re: blimpbinge

                                                      The broth, quality, and quantity of ingredients is what sets Trieu Chau apart from copy cats and even 626 counterparts. The broth is much more flavorful and with that subtle pork sweetness from the extended simmering of so many bones at high heat/lots of msg.

                                                      Just look at the yelp photos of Trieu Chau vs Kim Ky. The broth at Trieu Chau is murky and laced with pork bits while the broth at Kim Ky is so clear you can see the stuff at the bottom of the bowl. There is even a Kim Ky yelp photo tagged "soup lacks flavor".

                                                      Your 1st paragraph is reversed. The best chiu chow in 626 is probably only average in Westminster. Kinda like pho. As you noted probably due to there being a larger teochew-vietnamese population down here.

                                                      1. re: Porthos

                                                        Attaching photos.

                                                        Photo 1. House special at Trieu Chau

                                                        Photo 2. Combo seafood and meat at Kim Ky

                                                         
                                                         
                                                        1. re: Porthos

                                                          Eh my family is teochew/Cantonese and we eat this stuff multiple times a week.

                                                          Kim ky's quality has dropped a bit, but they wouldn't be the best in 626 even though they may be the most busy. Don't get the hype there.

                                                          Been to trieu chau. It's good, but it's similar to mein nghia and noodle cafe in taste. A person from oc wouldn't drive to 626 to eat teochew just like I won't drive to oc to eat teochew.

                                                          1. re: blimpbinge

                                                            I drove from Westwood and DTLA to Santa Ana for Trieu Chau when I lived up there.

                                                            These days, I drive to LA for sushi, Red Medicine, Sotto, Bestia, Elite (dim sum and dinner), Shanghailander Palace, SN1, J&J, Simbala, etc. I drive to Torrance for soba. I used to drive up to Sawtelle for Tsujita but these days I'm liking my ramen at Ramen Zetton.

                                                            Guess it all depends what kind of person we're talking about ;-)

                                                            1. re: Porthos

                                                              Haha what I mean is, the difference in quality between teochew places in socal are not as significant as (for example) Tsujita vs the ramenyas in socal

                                                              1. re: blimpbinge

                                                                I'm looking at your recs and the yelp photos also show pretty clear and watery appearing broths along with some anemic looking toppings at both places. Guess I'll have to take your word that they're about the same though.

                                                    2. re: K K

                                                      or stir fry e-fu noodles with lobster roe from a 5 pound beast to kick it up several notches
                                                      ================
                                                      Again, not to go all Vietnamese-Chinese on you but Newport Tan Cang will add noodles to your 5-lb beast of a house special lobster with plenty of stir fried roe with onions, black pepper, and some jalapeño slices. In the OC, conveniently in the same plaza as Trieu Chau. Never asked for it at the SGV branches but I assume they do it too.

                                                      1. re: Porthos

                                                        Actually that's a fantastic idea for that area. When you don't have what you're looking for, you find the next best thing or create your own on the fly. Sounds like a winner to me!

                                                        1. re: Porthos

                                                          I do exactly that when I'm at Newport Tan Cang. Best way to enjoy their lobster special, IMHO...