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Beat the Dough-ville---MALAN NOODLES (Hacienda Heights)

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Beat the Dough-ville---MALAN NOODLES (Hacienda Heights)

rabo encendido | Nov 7, 2005 11:49 PM

The maestro rips off a wad of dough, and on his flour-dusted, stainless steel table, mercilessly pounds it into submission. Tossing it up, slamming it down, poking and prodding it, like some kind of brutal, hateful massage. He loops an end of it around a finger, and then flaps both arms wildly. Magically, between his flailing hands, noodles begin to appear. With each flap, more and more of them. Like playing a pasta-weaving accordion.

The Chinese "hand-pulled" noodles. Done with flair and finesse by a young Latino guy. Only in Southern California.

Mrs rabo and I order:

COLD DISHES:

#14 Celery and Peanut---Peanuts are marinated and boiled. Pretty tasty.

#15. Spicy Cucumber---Notable for the complete and utter absence of any spice. Salted and chopped cukes, sprinkled with garlic.

NOODLES:

The star of the show comes in 7 varietes. Round or flat; small, medium or large; triangular. We decide on medium/flat for both our dishes, and these wind up being pretty serious. The large ones must be like conveyor belts.

I go for the Jiang-jiang mein, or "Noodes in brown sauce". This stuff rocks. Bowl of steamy, meaty noodles drowned in a rich, chili-caramel, tofu/pork gravy. Sort of like a very timid ma po. Comfort food. As I ravenously slurp, my shirt becomes a dotted sauce-vest.

Mrs rabo gets the "Sauteed Vegetable and Pork Noodle Soup". The vegetable looks like "za-sai", a kind of Chinese pickle. Pork is shredded and a little rubbery. Broth is really bland, needing heaping spoonfuls of tabletop chili oil to get anywhere. Small, round noodles on this one may have been a better call. In the end, a pass.

The whole shebang and a Diet Coke for $18. Portions are large, cash only.

The wife and I never did get to the now defunct Monterey Park branch, so can't compare the two.

2020 S. Hacienda Heights (a few blocks South of the 60 freeway)
Hacienda Heights, 91745
626-369-5602

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