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 can’t seem to find anything in L.A. that isn’t 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 I’m pretty sure are unavailable in Singapore itself.
(I’ve 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.
Anyway, I have always liked the crunchy, meaty version of Singapore noodles
at Luk Yue, a Hong Kong–style 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.