I went easy on them, I could have gone full TonyC fire breathing dragon.
finally got to try noodle palace which as mentioned in the last eater update, replace HK wonton specialist noodle boy. i don’t think they changed anything physically with the location in terms of decor. the menu is not extensive.
the portions are generous. particularly the wife special noodle. it’s similar in composition to its counterpart offered at laoxi noodle,
(tomato/egg, fried ground pork, pork belly, etc.) but there’s a major twist - YOU get to decide how much topping goes on your noodles - and in what proportion;
beware! those metal ladles are hot.
(mixed by the wife)
the overall serving size is larger than laoxi noodle house, but unfortunately, too salty for my tastes, and the noodles were a bit limp.
however the Q of the pasta on the next noodle dish was quite good: strifried with chicken and tree fungus and touch of cumin.
they were out of the appetizer we ordered, so we went with an order of pork/leek dumplings. a bit on the smaller side, they were juicy and had a interesting touch of sweetness
throughout the meal our water glasses were refilled with a level of enthusiasm most would find quite unusual in the SGV,
i was disappointed with the wife special noodle, but the three dishes were only about $26 before tax; i’m willing to go back and try more of the menu.
almost forgot; i also tried the new fuzhou place hoping to get a chance to try any type of fujian cuisine, of which (as i understand it, fuzhou is a small subset).
they have english and chinese versions of their menu. at least the prices are the same. (i once went to a place that had menus in english, spanish and russian. the english menu listed the highest prices for the same items. i’ve always been amused by that.)
interestingly, there are items on the chinese menu which are not featured on the english menu. assuming english speakers wouldn’t order these items?
anyone conversant with fujian cuisine please clarify - but my first impression was that the last four items on the english menu are there for the tourists: “pork” stickers, wontons, chow mein and fried rice.
i have no idea if they’re authentic fuzhou, but our favorite item turned out to be the steamed buns at $3.50. already filled with juice, they came with a dipping sauce. i’d go back for these.
we tried the fuzhou fish balls which came in a bowl of clear broth. maybe it’s like eating a white castle slider if you’ve eaten them all your life. there’s a savory meat filling, but not something i’d go out of my way to order again.
we tried the soup with duck as well as a noodle soup with pork. while fujian cooking is supposed to feature soups, their subtleties were unfortunately lost on my palate.
i didn’t see any of the items i was hoping to find, like the gua bao, pepper bun, and other flour/bread items. i don’t think they were on the menu - i didn’t see any on any other tables either.
This used to be quite common in Koreatown. I forget which place it was, but my Singaporean friend had learned enough Korean that the ajummas were always shocked if it were revealed he is NOT Korean, and he ordered off the Korean side of the menu for a lower price, and even when he ordered for me off that side, I still got charged the higher English price. Booooooo never went back there again.
I noticed that about Fuzhou Cuisine. I’ve seen it at other places in the past, and even surprised the waitstaff and owners at a few places when I ordered from that portion of the menu.
My favorite SGV menu entry was on the early iteration at Beijing Duck House, which wasn’t Beijing-style. It had one item translated into German.
when i first moved to LA, i used to count the number of mis-spelled.words on chinese menus. after a while i came to the conclusion that words weren’t mis-spelled as much as they were spelled the way chinese immigrants like my dad pronounced them:
Stuffed fish balls is one of the essential food items in Fuzhou cuisine. Doing a quick scan of the Chinese menu, there’s quite a few dishes that don’t seem to be exclusively Fuzhou. Definitely not the XLBs, that come in, oddly, an order of 7. Nothing about their dumplings cry out Fuzhou either.
Doesn’t look like what you get at the Fuzhou style restaurants which populate the eastern part of Manhattan Chinatown either.
I noticed that too. Beyond the fish balls, there wasn’t a lot that was obviously Fuzhou-style at Fuzhou Cuisine. I didn’t even manage to pick up a menu from the last, short-lived, Fuzhou-style place, but I understand it had a few more Fuzhou items.
makes me wonder who the target market would be, if any? i tried the fish balls since it was the only obvious fuzhou specialty on the menu. i suppose i’d consider using one as a replacement if i lost the ball while playing jacks given the similarity in springy texture, but i found them as uninteresting as anhui cuisine.
Looks like they have both 胡椒餅 and 麻饼, as well as 福州继光饼 (or Fuzhou bagels), all of which are pretty traditional Fuzhou items.
the place was about 60-70% full, and no one at any other table ordered them while i was there, which goes back to my question: who are they aiming for in terms of clientele?
You’re taking a one time visit on one random day to make, to put it mildly, a very generalized statement.
Place has been up and running for about 3 months now (soon after since Zing Bistro shuttered).
perhaps, but having visited about 250 different establishments in the SGV, many of them similar in size physically as well as in breadth of menu, whenever a place is as full as F.P. was when i was there, i’m used to seeing the ‘special’ dishes on the tables of other customers, especially if the place has been open as long as you suggest. to be fair, there might not be a sufficient critical mass of fujianese, which makes the opening a curious choice to me.
D’oh! Thanks ipse. I missed those. Need to study more.
In another example of “how the sausage is made”, there was so damned much to cover last month that I had to edit things down tightly and also hurry. That’s when the occasional mistake or oversight slips in
Not sure I was saying it was your fault (your doing yeoman’s work, after all); it’s just that I don’t want people to get the idea that Fuzhou cuisine is nothing but fishballs.
Sort of like thinking that Italian food is all about pizza.
Actually I always associated Fuzhou food with peanut butter noodles and also sour cabbage. Guess I spent too much time on East Broadway and Eldridge in NY Chinatown.
Thanks ipse, I wouldn’t want to leave that impression either.
Wait, you’re telling me there’s more to Italian food than pizza?
Turned in the latest update. Despite a lot of turnover, I tried to give a few more details this time. Hopefully, Matt didn’t mind the length
follow up on noodle palace:
the owners are the parents of the wife who cooks at laoxi noodle in arcadia. the daughter was actually there with her son alexander and recognized me when i came in.
the wife special noodle previously ordered included a vegetarian version. it was that sauce that threw off the balance.
this leads to a clarification of menu page one (see above). there is a list of noodle choices, but they all come with the wife special noodle toppings. although they’re listed, they do not recommend the choice of mao er duo with the wife’s special sauce. i think they should rename it mom’s special noodle, but i digress.
menu page 2 list meat versions on the left side, vegetarian versions on the right side.
tried the beef noodle soup. the beef was tasty and perfectly cooked, but the broth initially seemed underwhelming but as i god deeper into the bowl the flavor got beefier and more concentrated. i don’t know if it’s by design but it reminded me of a two flavored ramen broth with the lighter layer on top
tried the special thick pancake. there was a faint aftertaste of lard but i suspect you’d want these to clean the sauce out of the bottom of your bowls.
the sauces are the same recipes, but noodle palace will serve more variations of noodles. the arcadia location has no room for the noodle machine they have in the kitchen at noodle palace.
wow. i didn’t know that i could do bullet points this way. anyway, if you like laoxi noodle house and rosemead is more convenient for you, noodle palace is an option for shanxi cooking.