We were craving Best Noodle House again, so it was time for another visit. (7th and 8th visits.)
New menu items have appeared!
We started with some old favorites and some dishes we hadn't tried before.
Still a nice balance of Garlic, Sesame Oil and fresh Cucumbers. Crisp, yet softened enough from the quick pickling. Refreshing.
Quick Fried Cabbage:
LOL, their English translated menu names need to be spiced up I think, as "Quick Fried Cabbage" sounds a bit too simple / boring perhaps? Either way, this was a pleasant surprise: When our veteran posters talked about "Wok Hei" on our old board, I think they meant this. Utilizing super high heat, Cabbage is wok-fried and quickly softened and completely cooked through. There's this fantastic, pure taste that is simply delicious! The addition of Garlic and Chili Peppers gives it a nice fragrant and lightly spicy edge.
Fish with Spicy Sauce:
Another rather simply-named dish in English, our friend who speaks Mandarin says the more ideal translation is "Fragrant Spicy Fish," but either way, this was an interesting item we hadn't tried before. Grey Sole Fillet are battered and deep-fried, and then they wok-fry the Fried Grey Sole Fillet pieces, with Chinese Celery and Dried Red Chilies.
The flavors are interesting, it's more of an immediate heat that hits you, and the Celery and Dried Chilies give it a nice aromatic aspect. The downside is that the Deep Fried Grey Sole pieces lose their crispiness being wok-fried with the other ingredients, so it felt a bit soft in parts.
Fish Fillet with Szechuan Pepper:
I think it was @paranoidgarliclover who might've been asking about the other type of "Water Boiled Fish" (the non-red inferno version ), and we like the one from Szechuan Impression, but it turns out Best Noodle House makes a version as well.
They use Grey Sole Fillet for this dish as well, lightly cooked through, still tender, and bathed in this surprisingly light broth. The Szechuan Peppercorns are in full effect here, giving you a numbing "spicy" feeling in each bite and sip, while the fresh Jalapeno Chilies add a more common type of heat. This was quite good!
Cold Steamed Chicken with Hot Sauce (Chongqing "Mouth Water Chicken"):
It had been too long! One of our favorites, it didn't let us down: The Sauce on this Cold Steamed Chicken with Hot Sauce is as beguiling, enticing and stunning as ever! It's not as insanely hot as it looks (that deep, crimson, inferno hell red color is startling, but thankfully it's nowhere near as hot as it looks ).
There's a real layering of multiple types of spices, some mashed Peanuts give it a nuttiness, the Green Onions, there's even a subtle tinge of sweetness to round out the flavors. Thanks again @ipsedixit, it is indeed the best Mouth Water Chicken we've ever had!
On another visit, we started with their Seaweed Salad, served chilled and with just enough Garlic and a bit of heat from the Dried Red Chilies.
(New) Fire Noodle:
The first of the new items added on the menu, it's actually only posted on the wall for now (until they print new menus). According to the owner (translated from our friend who speaks Mandarin), this is a popular dish in Szechuan right now, and they've made their version and brought it to the States.
The name worried me - Fire Noodle - but thankfully this wasn't that spicy. It's a Non-Soup Noodle dish, so it's Dry Noodles (still moist of course), with Marinated Ground Pork, Green Onions, Peanuts and a special Spice Mixture that is different from their Dan Dan Noodles and their Chungking Noodles.
Make sure to mix it well:
The result is a medium-spicy Noodle dish that's almost like a Dan Dan Noodle, but less complex. It's pretty good, and is more meaty, direct spicy with a slight burn than the Chungking or Dan Dan Noodles. We like their Dan Dan Noodles more though (that's hard to beat!).
Wonton with Spicy Sauce ("Chaoshou"):
Their Wontons in Spicy Sauce are another one of our favorites and they were fantastic again! The Handmade Wontons are soft, filled with a Marinated Ground Pork mixture, but it's the amazing numbing Szechuan Peppercorn Sauce that makes this shine! Different from the Mouth Water Chicken, and different from their Dan Dan Noodles (and Water Boiled Fish), it's pretty amazing that Best Noodle House can establish and maintain so many distinct, standout spicy flavor profiles. They are all unique.
This was even better than Szechuan Impressions' version. A must order!
(New) Chicken Soup Rice with Peas:
Yet another rather simple-sounding English-translated name, but the owner said that this is the other really popular dish in Szechuan right now. She said families, young people, older people order this dish because it's not spicy, but also for it's light, pure flavors. She described multiple eateries where they serve this and around 20+ small dishes (pickles, pig ears, tripe, etc.) and people just eat a bit of those small plates and enjoy this Rice Soup as the base.
Taking a sip... WOW! It's a really delicious Housemade Chicken Broth, really crave-worthy in its poultry flavors. It's deeply Chicken-y, and the Bawan Peas add a slight thickening to the Broth, making it almost like a light Stew.
But then there's the Rice and Broth together. It's really like a "Szechuan Congee" but thinner. There are bits of fresh Poached Chicken, and it's just so warming and satisfying (plus it's a rare non-spicy dish in a restaurant with most of their items being spicy).
We'd order this again for sure.
There are so many interesting, standout dishes at Best Noodle House, from the Cold Steamed Chicken with Hot Sauce (Mouth Water Chicken), to the outstanding Dan Dan Noodles, and Wontons with Spicy Sauce, Gele Mountain Style Fried Chicken Cubes and of course their Youpo Noodles!
Add to that a new favorite, their Chicken Soup Rice with Peas, and we can't wait to go back to this friendly, hole-in-the-wall Chongqing specialist.
Best Noodle House
9329 Valley Blvd.
Rosemead, CA 91770
Tel: (626) 782-7432