Though the establishment has been open for just a few months, it's the intricacy of the broth at Sweethome Grill that caught our attention. Noodle soups can be cumbersome to eat after a while, especially since they're so heavy in carbs and loaded with spice. But somehow the people over at Sweethome make them just right. The chef, who hails from Henan, has been cooking for 20 years and is classically trained in the art of noodle making. (He immigrated to the United States in 2005; according to owner Alex Ho, all the employees are from Northern China.) Sweethome Grill's standard beef hand-pulled noodle soup ($5.59) is a complicated mix of long, chewy strands of thick noodles paired with lily (jin zhen cai), sweet potato noodles (hong shu fen), cilantro and seaweed (hai dai). The noodles are long and the ideal balance between soft and chewy. The broth is stewed with lamb, chicken and beef bones for 10 hours before it's served — which gives the soup its unique flavor. 402 E. Valley Blvd., San Gabriel. (626) 288-0099 (no website).
—Clarissa Wei

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