Where do people go for the best dan dan in LA? I used to swear by the version at Lucky Noodle King. But I think that place is closed. Had the ones at Pine and Crane yesterday and they were utterly boring and tame–no heat, cloying peanut sauce. I’m looking for that perfectly balanced bowl with chewy noodles, texture from peanuts, heat, and a little bit of sweetness. Where should I go?
Northern Cafe (only the one on Garfield in MPK) or Mian or Killer Noodle all work for me.
Have you tried it at pine and crane? Not versed enough to judge qualify but I’ve had it there
Yes; wasn’t thrilled with it. Was very tame.
101 Noodle Express Alhambra. Not a ton of heat but enough and I really enjoy the noodles.
Taiwanese style is tame compared to Commie style
Dan Dan is the noodle dish where meat sauce looks like Fancy Feast right?
The dish is originally from Sichuan, you probably want that version.
What you had is Taiwanese style which is much different. There’s also an Americanized style which is like a more boring and sweeter version of the Taiwanese one.
The Japanese version that I used to get is like Taiwanese but actually with a hint of heat and more complex.
Seconding @CiaoBob, Mian is my favorite Sichuan style. Killer Noodle I think would also fit what you’re looking for, I would describe it as Sichuan style with a Japanese twist. I have no clue if it’s authentic, but it is very tasty. The Northern Cafe is MPK is decent.
101 Noodle Express is Taiwanese style.
Chongqing Special Noodle in San Gabriel, and Best Noodle House in Rosemead.
With the usual caveat about changes to the cooking staff/ownership (we know there has been at Best Noodle House), I’ll second the above rec of Chongqing Special Noodle.
I’m a huge fan of dan dan noodles and my favorite is from A&J Restaurant in Irvine. I like mine with thin noodles. Ask for a side of green onions and add chili oil as desired.
Last time I went they had new ownership and tried to steer me away from anything remotely Sichuan and into Xiao Long Bao of all things.
Never going back.
If anyone figures out a shibboleth so white people can get spicy food, please share.
I’m Chinese, when I go with non-Asian friends I can usually mumble enough in Mandarin so they will give me it actually spicy or not try to steer us away.
I haven’t been able to figure out what to do at Thai or Indian though. Sometimes I say I’ve been there before and it wasn’t spicy enough last time, other times I say I understand there’s no refunds, but the success rate is rather low.
A friend whose opinion I respect highly recommends Tsujita’s version. I have never been able to get past the tsukkemen, or the tonkatsu ramen to try it.
Tsujita owns Killer Noodle, I wonder if it’s the same dish. If you’re in Sawtelle the line is much shorter at Killer Noodle than at either of the Tsujitas.
Thanks. I’ve had Killer Noodle, which I like, but it’s not the traditional dan dan.
Good point, but I have never had to wait at Tsujita Annex in Glendale - but I only go during weekday afternoons. Lucky thing about working in the entertainment industry is weird days off.
As a white man who loves spice thank you! I have not had a problem yet, except dealing with it the next morning, https://www.southernfoodways.org/film/hot-chicken/, (tangential reference, but great video). Occasionally in Korean restaurants the emo will ask me if I know what I am doing. I really don’t but Pepcid AC helps me in my revolt against my genetic heritage.
I’m admittedly not a chili fiend, but my partner is white and I don’t speak Mandarin… But I’ve actually never not been able to get pretty spicy food and never had someone try to turn me away from the spicy stuff. I totally believe that what you’re describing happens since other posters have mentioned it for years.
Do you go in a big group? I wonder if that’s part of it?
The rest of the menu is uneven, but I like the dan dan noodles at Meizhou Dongpo in CC.