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Food

The Best Noodles In Los Angeles

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Chicken pho noodles paired perfectly with a side of minced garlic and vinegar sauce. (Photo by Kristie Hang/LAist)
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There's nothing quite like having a good bowl of noodles to brighten up your day, rain or shine. With so many restaurants in the area, LAist picked the most slurp-worthy noodles that have touched our hearts and our stomachs. As always, leave your own favorites in the comments.

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Red grain pork dry noodle from Monja Taiker. (Photo by Kristie Hang/LAist)
MONJA TAIKER

Monja Taiker is a must-stop for Taiwanese noodles. The most unique and popular item is their famous red grain pork accompanied with dry noodles. Red grain pork looks almost identical to Cantonese-style BBQ pork, but it has a fried crispy skin and a juicy tender inside. Each bite of red grain pork is crunchy like popcorn chicken because the meat is covered with flour and fried. The bowl of noodles comes separately topped with coriander, bean sprouts, spring onions and minced pork. Drizzle some chili oil, mix everything together and throw in the red grain pork for a fiesta in your mouth. Lunch specials are also very affordable. For under $10, you can get a salad, a green tea/black tea drink, and an order of the red grain pork dry noodle or choose from a number of their other popular items. Too lazy to dine in? Monja Taiker takes online orders through their nifty website. here There’s also a 10% discount if you order online.

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Monja Taiker is located at 8150 Garvey Avenue in Rosemead (626) 307-7330 and at 18558 East Gale Avenue in Rowland Heights, (626) 839-3355

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Delicious Taiwanese-style beef noodles brewed for over 12 hours from Bull Demon King Cafe. (Photo by Kristie Hang/LAist)

BULL DEMON KING CAFE

The star noodle dish at Bull Demon King Café is the Taiwanese-style niu rou mian, better known here as the Full House Noodle. The rich broth comes with beef chunks, tendon, and tripe that is brewed for more than 12 hours. Patrons are able to customize their desired spiciness level, portion of beef, and type of noodles. You can get the noodles four ways: thin, thick, flat or glass. Bull Demon King uses more than 10 different spices to make their broth, which is then brewed for over 12 hours.

For fans of competitive eating, Bull Demon King Café offers a Hell Style Beef Challenge. Competitors must finish every drop of the Hell Style Beef Noodles within 30 minutes to win a T-shirt and their picture on the wall. If you don’t make it, the bowl of noodles will put you back $20.99.

Bull Demon King Café is located at 5953 Temple City Boulevard in Temple City, (626) 286-4788 and at 1155 South Diamond Bar Boulevard in Diamond Bar, (909) 718-9877

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Vietnamese fermented anchovy noodle soup from Ha Tien Quen. (Photo by Kristie Hang/LAist)

HA TIEN QUAN

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Want to try a dish not offered at many restaurants? Bun mam is definitely not for the weak. It is a bowl full of stank. In fact, you can smell the bowl before you see it. Because of the complexity of the broth, bun mam is an item not usually found on a Vietnamese menu. The salty, pungent, yet delicious fermented anchovy noodle soup is an acquired taste. The anchovy broth is accompanied with pork belly, shrimp, chunks of catfish, Japanese eggplant, chives all mixed in with a healthy helping of rice noodles. The smell can be very off-putting at first, but the lime and herbs kick in to make it a very scrumptious and unique dish. If you're a fan of Taiwanese stinky tofu or durian, this may become your new favorite equivalent noodle dish.

Ha Tien Quan is located at 529 East Valley Boulevard in San Gabriel, (626) 288-1896

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The hearty chicken pho from Pho Hai Phong made with fresh chicken and dipped in a perfect minced ginger sauce. (Photo by Kristie Hang/LAist)

PHO HAI PHONG

Do you love pho? Pho Hai Phong’s no-frills chicken pho is your momma’s cooking, only better. Their flat rice noodles are accompanied with fresh chicken that truly makes a world of difference. No frozen stuff here. The resulting broth is an unbelievably delicious, piping hot soup that isn’t oily or filled with MSG like other pho places out there. And lazy eaters can rejoice, too. You can order your chicken meat shredded or with bones whichever you prefer. The chicken pho comes with the plate of bean sprouts and chopped cilantro, but the real showstopper is the minced ginger. Pho Hai Phong’s ginger is not the traditional onion and ginger salt mixture, but a finely minced ginger with vinegar that brings out the taste of the chicken. Don’t be afraid to drench your bowl in pure gingerly goodness. The small is only $5 and the large size is around $6.50. Offal lovers can also order a plate of kidneys, liver, and gizzard as well. Phong Hai Phong is cash only.

Pho Hai Phong is located at 10990 Lower Azusa Road in El Monte, (626) 448-8890.

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Cold Taiwanese minced meat dry noodles from Dai Ho. (Photo by Clairssa Wei)
DAI HO

Exclusivity at its finest, Dai Ho is only open for 3 ½ hours each day from Tuesday through Sunday. Although their Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup is the restaurant’s namesake, it’s the minced meat dry noodles that is deserving of the noodle spotlight. The chewy dry noodles are mixed with marinated ground pork and chili oil, and then topped with freshly diced scallions. The portion sizes at Dai Ho are smaller than most places, but the quality is noticeably top notch. They do not use MSG in any of their dishes.

Dai Ho is located at 9148 Las Tunas Drive in Temple City, (626) 291-2295

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Big plate chicken spread over a bed of noodles from Omar's Xinjiang Halal Restaurant. (Photo by Kristie Hang/LAist)
OMAR'S XINJIANG HALAL RESTAURANT

Due to the sizeable Muslim population in China, many Chinese restaurants serve Chinese Islamic/Halal cuisine. Omar's in San Gabriel is one of those restaurants. With only 8 tables, prepare to wait for a seat and for your food as there is only one chef, one oven and one server. Omar’s looks a bit sketchy from the outside and feels like a tiny house that was converted into a restaurant. The must-order noodle dish is the Big Plate Chicken, which takes approximately 30 minutes to prepare and boy, is it big. The plate can feed up to 3 people. The dish consists of an entire chicken cut up and marinated in a thick, spicy red sauce with homemade flat noodles, potatoes, carrots, bell peppers, and soft Uyghur-style bread.

If you're not feeling like chicken or can’t finish such a large order, Omar’s also does a fantastic lamb hand-pulled noodle topped with stir-fried celery, lamb, tomatoes, and onions that is made fresh daily and not cooked until you order it.

Omar’s Xinjiang Halal Restaurant is located at 1718 North New Avenue in San Gabriel, (626) 570-9778.

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Freshly pulled pork belly noodle soup from mom and pop Tasty Noodle House. (Photo by Kristie Hang/LAist)
TASTY NOODLE HOUSE

Tasty Noodle House is a tiny mom-and-pop shop made up of only 6-7 tables known for their noodles, soups and dumplings. All the noodles from Tasty Noodle House are fresh, handmade and, well, tasty but the pork belly noodle soup is definitely a cut above the rest. The broth has a thick, starchy consistency and is laden with pork belly slices and veggies. The pork slices are tender and the noodles are very chewy. Tasty Noodle House also has an oyster version of their noodles that is equally delicious for seafood lovers. FYI: it's cash only.

Tasty Noodle House is located at 827 West Las Tunas Drive in San Gabriel, (626) 284-8898.

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‘Crossing the Bridge Noodles’ from Yun Chuan Garden. (Photo by Clairssa Wei)
YUNNAN GARDEN

Guoqiao mixian, which literally translates to ‘Crossing the bridge noodles’ is a dish that comes from an old wives’ tale. According to the ancient tale, an imperial scholar was studying for his exams on an island in Yunnan, China. His wife would bring him food daily but found that by the time she crossed the bridge to bring him soup, the noodles would become cold and soggy. The wife remedied this by separating the ingredients, heating up the chicken soup after arriving, and then mixing them together.

In China, ‘Crossing the Bridge Noodles’ come with a bowl of rice noodles and a separate platter of chicken, thinly sliced pork, bean sprouts, tofu skin, and vegetables. A server will pour hot chicken broth into your noodle bowl and you will follow by throwing in the rest of the ingredients. But in the States and at Yunnan Garden, patrons first go to the appetizer bar and choose their choice of cold cut items such as tofu, beef shank, cold pig ears, etc. Then, they order the ‘Crossing bridge noodles’. A server then brings out a big bowl of chicken soup topped with thin pork slices, and bamboo shoots with rice noodles that you can add your cold cuts to. Yunnan Garden’s broth is light and the chicken is tender. Don’t forget to add some chili oil on top for good measure.

Yunnan Garden is located at 301 North Garfield Avenue in Monterey Park, (626) 571-8387.

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Taiwanese Beef Stewed Noodle Soup from House of Mandarin Noodle. (Photo by Clairssa Wei)
HOUSE OF MANDARIN NOODLE

If you love tasty beef noodle soup with bouncy noodles and a side of zero customer service, House of Mandarin Noodle is your place. The hearty and very flavorful Taiwanese Beef Stewed Noodle Soup has the perfect mix of fatty tendon and chunks of braised beef. If you love cilantro and pickled mustard, there's a ton added here. They offer three different types of specialty noodles: hand cut, hand-pulled, and knife shaved. The hand-pulled noodles are the preferred choice. The soup is topped off with a generous heaping of cilantro and pickled mustards. Beef shanks are cooked for hours and melt in your mouth.

House of Mandarin Noodle is located at 4819A Temple City Boulevard in Temple City, (626) 286-1689.

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Traditional Sichuan-style cold spicy garlic noodles from Szechuan Impression. (Photo by Kristie Hang/LAist)
SZECHUAN IMPRESSION

With the influx of Mainland Chinese residents immigrating and investing in the San Gabriel Valley, there have been a plethora of Sichuan-style restaurants entering the scene. Szechuan Impression has been leading the way giving the community more options than just the typical ‘mala’, numbing spicy dishes. Their ‘Impressive Cold Noodle’ is pretty impressive and perfect for a hot day. Mouthwatering thin noodle strands are tossed with a perfect blend of chili oil and vinegar. Experience multiple flavors in each bite include spicy, numbing sensation, garlic, tangy. The traditional garlic, spicy cold garlic noodles are hand pulled and fresh. It uses the Sichuan peppercorn, which is an acquired taste. The peppercorn is not a pepper, but actually a citrus that has a lemon undertone that also numbs the tongue.

Szechuan Impression is located at 1900 West Valley Boulevard in Alhambra, (626) 283-4622.

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Pine and Crane

Hallelujah, there’s finally a worthy Taiwanese restaurant outside of the San Gabriel Valley! Want authentic, traditional Taiwanese food minus the shabbiness of most San Gabriel Valley mom and pop shops? Pine and Crane is a hip, modern eatery in Silver Lake that sources their vegetables from their family’s own Asian vegetable farm. Their menu rotates seasonally based on whatever ingredients are the freshest. Both their beef noodle soup and dan dan noodles tops our list. The noodles are bouncy and the beef shanks are brewed for hours. The beef noodle soup is even topped with bok choy from the family’s farm.

Pine and Crane is located at 1521 Griffith Park Boulevard in Los Angeles, (323) 668-1128.

Sapp Coffee Shop
In East L.A.’s Thai Town, you can find tasty traditional boat noodles from a tiny eatery called Sapp Coffee Shop. Sapp’s boat noodles come in a brown colored broth made with beef and pork blood topped with thin rice noodles, hot chili, and a plethora of aromatic Thai herbs. Fresh slices of pork, homemade pork balls, and crunchy of crunchy fried pork skin are thrown in for good measure. Each bite will give you the perfect balance of sour, spicy, and savory.


Sapp Coffee Shop is located at 5183 Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, (323) 665-1035.