QUESTION: When my fiancé took me to Hong Kong to visit her family, I fell in love with wonton soup instead. Not the wor/war wonton soup with everything under the sun floating in it, but seven or eight dumplings in a perfectly focused broth, 10 strangers at a table, three kinds of noodles. I cant seem to find anything in L.A. that isnt loaded with tons of superfluous (though agreeable) extras; and the simple, small bowls at dim sum joints all tend to taste like perfunctory offerings of satisfaction that do little to diminish my desperate desires.
Also, I eat Singapore noodles everywhere I go. Yet, after establishing myself in L.A. two years ago, I have yet to find even a sample worth having twice. I seek your assistance in the matter.
Andrew Choate, Los Angeles
ANSWER: By Singapore noodles, I assume you mean the thin pan-fried noodles stained yellow with curry that usually go by that name noodles, by the way, that Im pretty sure are unavailable in Singapore itself. (Ive never seen them there, anyway, and expats tend to sneer at the stuff.) A really strong, stinky bowl of Hokkien mee is probably the real Singapore noodles, garnished if possible with little cubes of fried lard, but I digress.
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Anyway, I have always liked the crunchy, meaty version of Singapore noodles at Luk Yue, a Hong Kongstyle dive in Monterey Park where the pan-fried noodles are great in most of their incarnations, and where the deep-fried stuffed tofu, the garlicky sautéed ong choy, and the clay-pot rice baked with Chinese sausages are more than decent. Early in the day (I usually end up there well after midnight), the barbecued ducks are among the best in Monterey Park. And the wonton soup, loaded with extras or not as one prefers, is simple and fine. Luk Yue, 123 N. Garfield Ave., Monterey Park, (626) 280-2888.