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Chinese 'Noodle Dancer' Restaurant Coming to L.A.

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A Chinese chain selling hot pot, the traditional communal cuisine that originated in Mongolia, has some pretty unique table side entertainment. And they'll be brining it to Arcadia early this fall.

At Hai Di Lao, noodle masters are trained for 6 months to be able to stretch and twirl around their wares like ribbon dancers. They pull foot-long wads of dough into 10 feet of slender noodles by whipping the center out like a jump rope and then twirl it around a la Will Ferrell. Then, it's folded with flare and dropped in the hot pot broth at the center of diners' tables.

The interesting dancing isn't the only unconventional element of the restaurant; at the China outposts, guests can get manicures, shoe shines or play board games while they wait for a table. Hair ties are given to long haired customers to keep their locks out of the soup, and glasses wipes are given to those who have gotten some splatter for their slurping. All the ordering is done via iPads, and there's an internet cafe inside the restaurant for those who'd rather do business than get some grooming before their meal.

Says the Wall Street Journal:

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Owner Zhang Yong, who launched Hai Di Lao in Sichuan in 1994 and opened his first international branch in Singapore last year, hopes the touches that established his brand in China will also pave the way for his first U.S. outpost ... Hai Di Lao has the potential to do for Chinese cuisine what Benihana Inc.—famous for its hibachi-style restaurants where chefs prepare food in front of guests—did to boost Japanese food in the U.S. in the 1980s, said Shaun Rein, managing director of Shanghai-based China Market Research Group.

Din Tai Fung might not be the only ones with snaking lines on the weekends. Sounds like one heck of an interesting concept.

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