I noted a while back that "Mandarin Noodle Deli" had gone through an ownership change about a year and a half ago (read about it here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/706476 ), but never did a review of the place.
Well, the chirpers around told me that there was a change in kitchen staff (not owners) recently, so I figured this might be a good time to pay a visit or two.
First off, there are 3 different types of specialty noodles (in addition to the regular and rice noodles): hand cut, hand rolled, and knife shaved.
With the noodle dishes, you essentially pick the kind of broth and/or fixins (e.g. beef noodles, three flavors, seafood, pork chop, etc.) and then the type of noodle.
Having tried all three, I can say that that the hand pulled are probably the best of the bunch, with the knife cut the worst. All are sufficiently chewy and robust in body, but none really make you stand up and want to touch yourself in that special spot ... if you know what I mean.
None of noodle soup offerings were remarkable, although most were passable. The broth for the beef noodle was thin, almost watery, although the beef (shank, by the way) was tender and flavorful. The three flavors noodle was also bland, as was the pork and vegetable noodles. We spied a table next to ours order stir-fried noodles (with the knife-cut variety), but we never got the chance to sample any for ourselves during our two visits there.
One (sort of) standout was the cold sesame chicken noodles. Nice and sesame-y with a good garlic punch, almost too good. In fact, certain mouthfuls felt like there was enough garlic in the paste to vanquish a village of virulent vampires.
The dumplings (pan-fried, boiled and steamed) are very pedestrian. Beef roll (a la 101 Noodle) is forgettable. Scallion pancakes can be hit or miss.
The leek pancakes are quite good, however, although like most things on the menu (noodles included) are quite bland.
Noodle portions are big, esp. given the price range (about 6.25 to 6.75). Noodle bowls are the equivalent size of the diameter of medium-sized commercial toilet bowl ... with the seat up.
New Mandarin Noodle Deli
9537 Las Tunas Drive (cross street is Primrose)