A lot of the Islamic Chinese joints around here are Beijing style, which is a very particular thing because Beijing is not heavily Islamic. The food you’ll find in these spots is tailored to suit Beijing tastes.
If you want the cooking of a more predominately Islamic Chinese area, you have to go to Xinjiang, a province in northwest China. The most well-known ethnic group in Xinjiang is Uyghur, and we now have our first Xinjiang stronghold, run by a Uyghur chef. The place is Omar’s Xinjiang Halal Restaurant, and even though it’s pretty expensive for San Gabriel, the place is already packed with locals.
The lahmein—hand-pulled noodles—are fantastic, “long, thick, with great bite,” says odub. Ugly but delicious, the noodles are topped with a stir-fry of lamb and vegetables. These babies are long—as long as your forearm. “The two-foot long noodles may have been the best I’ve eaten,” says Chandavkl.
Xinjiang zhuafan is another winner, “like a Xinjiang take on paella: a subtly fat-infused rice plate with bits of vegetables topped with sliced lamb,” explains odub. It’s pleasantly unctuous without feeling heavy.
Omar’s Xinjiang Halal Restaurant [San Gabriel Valley]
1719 N. New Avenue, San Gabriel
No phone available