Folks that have been in Los Angeles for a while know that fall still brings plenty of hot days with it. On days when highs near 90 in the San Gabriel Valley — which is the forecast for today — one of the best ways to beat the heat is with some cold noodles.
If you find yourself on the Eastside (the real Eastside) or are willing to make a short drive, here are three different cold noodle dishes and where to find them in the SGV.
Made from mung bean starch jelly cut into strips, splashed with chili oil and vinegar and then topped with crushed garlic, pepper flakes, peppercorns and sliced peppers and/or scallions, these whitish-translucent noodles are a fairly common sight at Sichuan-style restaurants. For a more vinegar-intensive version serving two or more, head to Chengdu Taste or Chengdu Taste 2. For a less vinegary note or portion size for one or two, head to JTYH for their thickly cut noodles. New favorite Szechuan Impression also serves the dish, billed as Impressive Bean Jelly. If you find yourself further east, head to Shufeng Garden in Rowland Heights.
Cold Skin Noodle or Liang Pi
Made from flat wheat noodles, these toothsome noodles are served two ways: either with a chili oil and pepper, or with sesame paste and chili oil. Get them at Shaanxi Gourmet in Rosemead or at Xi’an Kitchen in City of Industry. Shaanxi Gourmet’s version with sesame paste, chili oil, crushed pepper, peppercorns and gluten cubes is a standout.
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Korean-style Cold Noodles
Northeast China borders the Korean peninsula and culinary influences cross the boundaries, which is particularly noticeable with the cold noodle dish known as naengmyeong in Korea. A chilled beef broth with slices of beef, half a boiled egg, julienned cucumbers, kimchi and thin, vermicelli-like noodles make this the most refreshing of all. Add in a spicy pepper paste (known as gochujang in Korean) to give it a spicy kick. Find both at the two unrelated restaurants named Shen Yang, one in Monterey Park and one in San Gabriel. The cold noodles at the Shen Yang in Monterey Park can be ordered either sweet or salty. And if you ask nicely, they might add ice to the bowl for further cooling.
Shen Yang Restaurant: 137 S. San Gabriel Blvd., Suite A, San Gabriel, CA 91776; (626) 292-5758.
Xi'An Kitchen: 18213 E. Gale Ave., City of Industry, CA 91748; (626) 965-9000.