Word of made-from-scratch, hand-pulled noodles at China Tasty lured me away from my cubical and to Alhambra for lunch the other week. While hand-pulled noodles are easily found throughout mainland China, noodle pulling specialists are surprisingly scarce in the San Gabriel Valley. Props to the L.A. Times’ Amy Scattergood for unearthing this gem.
China Tasty makes four different noodle shapes. There’s “standard round” (like spaghetti), “small flat” (like linguini), “medium flat” (like papperdelle), and “triangle noodle” (like no other). Amy describes the lattermost as “kind of like the noodle version of laminated dough, pulled into layers and cooked until beautifully chewy.” It was my favorite of the varieties we sampled.
First up was the “Szechuan Dan-Dan Noodle” ($5.99). We requested the triangle noodles to pair with this dish.
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Since June goes to bed before the sun sets these days, The Astronomer and I celebrated our anniversary over lunch rather than dinner this year. Not quite in the mood for a fancy kind of fete, we headed to Honey Badger Noodle Shop in Alhambra for a casual, noodle-centric meal. The couple that slurps together, stays together.
I first visited Honey Badger last October with Louise. While the food we tasted was very good, it arrived painfully slowly. Not to mention, nearly half the menu was unavailable for one reason or another.
Fortunately, the restaurant was firing on all cylinders when I lunched here with The Astronomer. Service, pacing, and food were all on point.
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If this summer is anything like the one before it, we’re all going to need a lot of cold treats to survive the long days and scorching rays. While there isn’t a shortage of fantastic frozen sweets to be had in the San Gabriel Valley (my favorites include Carmela, Fosselman’s, Rita’s, and Blockheads) having another solid option, like Ice Que, certainly isn’t going to hurt.
The man behind Ice Que is pastry chef John Park. After working in some of the city’s finest kitchens (Lukshon, Providence, and Water Grill), he struck out on his own in 2013 to open Quenelle in Burbank. Ice Que is his follow up effort.
Pro tip: A second branch of Quenelle recently opened in San Marino.
Whereas Quenelle specializes in ice cream, Ice Que is all about shaved ice. Forget artificially flavored syrups and such—the creations here are composed of shaved-to-order “snow” topped with a plethora of whimsical ingredients. Taken together, it’s a one-of-a-kind dessert experience that only a pastry chef could dream up.
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Lucky Peach recently launched an online edition, and I’ve been following along as the merry band of writers explores essential topics in food, like dumplings, pizza, and obsession. It’s good reading, all of it.
A charming piece by Chef David Chang (See: Momofuku Noodle Bar, Momofuku Ssam Bar, Momofuku Milk Bar) led me to Alhambra’s Kang Kang Food Court. An expertly curated one stop shop for China’s greatest culinary hits? Yes, please.
While neighboring Chinese restaurants specialize in region-specific cooking, the thrill of Kang Kang lies in the diversity of its offerings. In addition to breakfast staples like soy milk and deep-fried crullers, the expansive menu includes “Taiwanese Food,” “Food in Northern China,” “Food in Eastern China,” and “Food in Southern China, Hong Kong & Asia.”
Per Mr. Chang’s recommendations, my lunch date and I stuck to Taiwanese and Shanghainese dishes on this visit.
After placing our orders at the front counter, we grabbed a seat in the large dining room. Soon enough, food began to hit the table…
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