My wife and kids don’t have a high tolerance for heat so wondering if they have enough non-spicy options that are good.
Your wife/kids can choose from 4 non-spicy noodle soups, 2 non-spicy dumplings.
Full menu here (courtesy of WonHo Photo):
Most of the non-spicy noodles were “home style”, ie., bowls of poverty noodle created by throwing in the kitchen sink, then adding a fried egg on top.
One of the best dishes is the pig lips, which were absolutely not spicy. To get into the “fun stuff”, a lil tolerance of spiciness is required. That said, multiple Chinese children have been to known to demolish the “clear broth zhajiang mian”.
The best mains, both of which not mentioned in print so far, are actually the 2 dumplings: the salty, spicy and sour chaoshou (wontons seen below), and zhong dumpling (nearly identical to the version found at Chengdu Taste, which means it’s balanced and glorious).
A doable meal would be: one bowl of non-spicy dry noodle to be shared between wife/child, order something confrontational for yourself, toss in the steamed eggs with pork (served in cute, branded, enamel cups), add the pork lips, and the pickled radished (really spicy). Don’t forget to ask for the soothing “noodle broth” (ala otafuku) at the end of the meal. Add a bit of the sweet/sour/spicy broth from the zhong dumplings, and be enlightened like a Chengduer.
For an authentic solo brunch, I’d take-out a bowl of the salty silken tofu (better than any agedashi) and call it a day:
Pro tip: take the smoked plum tea home, add 4 shots of tequila; floor.
That was a great summary from @TonyC, so this is pretty irrelevant now, but my much less qualified, rigorous, and thoughtful impressions of the place were something like: it was pretty good.
It struck me as the type of restaurant that’s great for a quick, casual stop-in for a bowl of noodles and some dumplings or appetizers (those radishes were indeed very good!). I didn’t find anything particularly transcendent or novel, though, so personally I don’t think I’d wait in the inevitable long ass lines for the next few weeks. I didn’t find it to be the sort of grand, interesting, challenging, and usually spectacular restaurant that CT is. Basically, it’s noodles. They are very good and flavorful and spicy and mildly numbing (at least both of the ones I had were), but i didn’t have anything that I personally deemed mind-blowing or unique (that’s a high bar, I know, but it’s where CT set it for me).
Thanks nice write ups today.
I am going to wait for the line to die down but I’m in for the zhajiang mian, zhong dumplings and obviously something mind numbingly spicy.
Great writeup @TonyC. Thanks. For the “pork lips” is that the “marinated pork” on the menu? I didn’t see anything else listed that might’ve been that.
What do pork lips taste like? Or, actually, what is the texture like???
Very soft gummy worms…?
was being liberal with translation: pork mouth., ie jowl.
moist guanciale. better than guanciale.
I don’t know if I can detect the diff btw guanciale and pancetta but, regardless, it sounds great. Thanks for the review.
Guanciale has a much porkier aroma. Very strong and almost pungent.
that’s kinda like saying, “basically, it’s pasta.”
you’re right though, it’s absolutely not mind-blowing, but… imagine if this opened in the place of Mme Monsieur. The world would be a far more interesting place.
Just went yesterday and barely any line at all. Granted it was a weekday for lunch, but tables were turning over fairly quickly (which it should do consistently as it’s just a noodle shop).
I only had the Chongqing Zha Jiang Mian which was pretty good and definitely had a decent amount of ma la. They also gave me some free pao cai, which looking at the menu they normally sell for $2 so not sure if it’s some grand opening special sample or something.
It’s definitely good and has some dishes I’d want to go back and try. Wait for me was fine, but not sure if I’d really wait hours to eat there.
haha well as a matter of fact, i do feel that way about many fine Italian joints…
which is not to take anything away from those places! i love pasta and noodles of all shapes and sizes, and i look forward to my next trip to mian, which will undoubtedly be quite soon. and indeed i think i would be much happier if we could replace many of our french places (and, more importantly, their influence on other cooking) with various regional chinese kitchens…
I was in the area again so decided to give Mian a try. We got lucky and got a parking spot right in front. There was no line at 12:30 on a Sat and it was half empty. By the time we left though there were no tables and one party waiting so not bad at all.
As you are seated, they bring out some pickled cabbage. Pretty good, refreshing and a nice little freebie.
Water, depending on your heat tolerance, could be your best friend.
We order two noodles. First was the ZaJiang which was pork with green onion. Nothing earth shattering, solid noodles and plenty of ma la.
Next we ordered Gizzard Noodles. This one had a prominent garlic flavor with the heat more towards the back of your throat. Pretty good noodles, but nothing spectacular.
We ordered some Chili Oil Chaoshou which had a very subtle and unique (in a good way) flavor. The texture of the dumplings were nice.
Not bad, solid above average noodles as stated from previous posters. Not sure I would wait in line for this but definitely an “in the area” type place.
Went back and tried something else to basically finish off the menu:
This is the pickled chili beef noodle soup. It is my least fave out of the entire menu. It is numbing AF, but lacks the tender beef of the “regular” beef noodle soup.
you must be skimping on beer to take in these other carbs…
This is true. Doctor said to drink less (beer?).
Thanks for the follow-up @TonyC! I saw your recs for the dumplings above and the appetizers. Which noodles would you recommend then?
I like the “house beef noodle soup”. However, prefer the zhong dumpling over that. A friend who is a regular (the dude’s eaten there at least 4 times since they opened) prefers the gizzard noodles, with a fried egg on top.
YMMV, I’d rather have Chengdu hot pot over this any time, but, obviously apples and oranges.
As far as noodle soups in W SGV, oh no khao swe at Yoma is easily still my fave, with mohinga from Daw Yee nearly on par.