JTYH (Heavy Noodling Re-incarnated)

JTYH (aka New Heavy Noodling)Tipped off by this post on Sinosoul, I was eager to try the new and confusingly named JTYH. (The seemingly random acronym may be easier to remember if you, like me, just think of it as Just the Young Hos.) I was sad to hear when the original Heavy Noodling on Garvey ws closed, so naturally I was excited to hear that it was reincarnated as JTYH a few miles east in Rosemead.

We started off with a cold appetizer plate to whet our palettes which included beancurd noodles, celery (not shown), seaweed, and kimchi.  This wasn’t anything special, but gave us something to munch on while we waited for the rest of our food.

JTYH (aka New Heavy Noodling)

The star of the meal and my main reason for visiting was the dao xiao niu rou mian, also known as the knife-shaved beef noodle soup. The noodles were perfect. Wide without being too unwieldy, not overdone, and a good amount of bite without being too al dente. The broth was beefy and salty, but obviously second fiddle to the noodles.  The pieces of beef, which I usually overlook were so tender and flavorful that even if I didn’t like the noodles, I’d order this dish.

JTYH (aka New Heavy Noodling)

The BF ordered dan dan mian, which was cold thin noodles mixed with sauce and some veggies.  This looked pretty boring , but the noodles were interesting. Even though they were wheat noodles, they were so smooth and had such a springy texture that they almost seemed like rice noodles.

JTYH (aka New Heavy Noodling)

Our dining companion ordered the knife shaved fried noodles (he asked for them to be made vegetarian), which looked unexciting.  I took a bite and was wowed by the heavy wok qi flavor.  I’m always jealous of restaurants that can pull off that flavor because it’s next to impossible to do on a home stove.  I think we all would have preferred fresh shittake mushrooms to the canned mushrooms here. The noodles were also well done in this, so it may be a good dish to keep in mind for diners who don’t like noodle soups.

JTYH (aka New Heavy Noodling)

The surprise of the meal came from the fish and chive (Chinese leek?) dumplings.  I didn’t expect a noodle house to have such delicious dumplings!  The wrapper was thick and rustic looking but still very tender. The ground fish and leek filling inside was pillowy soft and light.  It practically fell apart when I bit into one.  This makes me excited to try their other steamed dumpling offerings.

Is JTYH just as good as the old Heavy Noodling?  I think so.  The new location is certainly cleaner than the old location, even for Chinese restaurant standards, although a little dirt and grime in a restaurant never really bothered me. I like to think of it as seasoning on a cast iron pan.  My mom refused to return to the old one because she thought it was too dirty, unfortunately. I think our waitress at JTYH used to work at Kam Hong because she recognized the BF and me right away and even remembered that the BF always orders vegan food.  Rosemead may be a long ways east for some people, but it’s worth it for chewy, rustic knife-shaven noodles and tasty, thick dumplings.

9425 Valley Blvd
Rosemead, CA 91770
(626) 442-8999

Tasty Noodle House — tasty bao as well

Tasty Noodle HousePerhaps Tasty Noodle House is a slight misnomer.  It’s not that their noodles aren’t tasty.  They are quite tasty. But their baos are even more tasty, which the owner will not hesitate to point out to you as soon as you enter the small restaurant a few doors down from the legendary Golden Deli.

We started with the ubiquitous combination cold appetizer plate with sliced pig ear, baked tofu, and seaweed knots. It was spicy and decent, but seemed like more of an afterthought.

I ordered my usual “let’s try this place out” noodle dish, hong sao niu rou mian (spicy beef noodle soup), with knife-shaved noodles.  The noodles were wide, chewy without being undercooked, and satisfying.  It was a little unwieldy to eat such large noodles with slippery plastic chopsticks; I was glad I wore black to hide the soup splashing everywhere that day.

Tasty Noodle House

I had ordered the soup to be mild, but the woman must have thought I was being modest and upped the heat level in my soup.  The broth tasted like liquid pain. Beefy, delicious, liquid pain.  The funny thing about spicy broth is that it hurts for a bit, so I stick to the noodles, and then I somehow forget or block off the memory of the broth being spicy, then I slurp another spoonful and repeat the pain.  The pieces of beef in the soup were okay, but nothing to write home about. More and more, I’ve started noticing that the beef in hong sao niu rou mian tastes like corned beef.

The BF wanted knife-shaved noodles too, but since he ordered the Szechuan dan dan mian sans meat and eggs, the woman strongly suggested he get the thin noodles instead.  At first there was some confusion regarding which noodles were vegan but we sorted it out eventually. According to the woman, the knife-shaved noodles and one type of thin noodles did not contain egg, but the yellow noodles did.

Tasty Noodle HouseTasty Noodle House

The dan dan mian came with a generous dollop of crushed chili as well as peanut sauce. I prefer the dish this way because the rich oiliness of the peanut sauce helps balance the pain of the chili. The noodles in his dish were also cooked to the perfect amount of chewiness.

Our whole time there, the woman was lamenting that we weren’t trying her famous baos, so we ended up ordering a plate of the bao stuffed with Chinese greens (either jia cai or jie cai) and shiitake mushrooms. They were well worth the praise!  The bready part was slightly sweet and soft while the filling was perfectly seasoned.  It was neither too salty nor too savory. It was just an ideal balance of greens and mushrooms.

On our way out of the restaurant, the woman cheerily exclaimed, “Next time you come, you’ll know what to order!” in Chinese and she’s right.  While the noodles were decent, next time, I’m going to stuff myself with bao, both the meat and meatless versions.

Tasty Noodle House
827 W Las Tunas Dr
San Gabriel, CA 91776-1072
(626) 284-8898

Boat Noodles Showdown: Sapp vs. Ord

To take a break from the coverage of my Monterey Bay trip, I present to you BOAT NOODLES SHOWDOWN: SAPP vs. ORD in Thai town.  Thanks again to Tony C for setting this up and getting everyone together.

Our first stop was to Sapp Coffee Shop which I’ve written about before. Their broth is thick, rich, has just the right amount of spiciness (if you ask for a medium), and is a good-sized portion for a meal. The assorted meats you get from the #3 on the menu are all decent and tasty as well as scary if you’re easily grossed out by offal. For $5.50 a bowl, you can’t get any better than this:

Beef Boat Noodle @ Sapp

After paying our tab at Sapp, we walked the few blocks over to Ord for round two. Ord certainly is a more ‘classy’ joint compared to Sapp. The tables are not as rickety, the chairs more solid, and the restaurant is just cleaner looking — if you’re into that kind of thing. I personally think that’s a ding to their authenticity.

Beef Boat Noodle @ Ord

The broth at Ord, which I ordered as a medium was more spicy, but not as flavorful. It also had a separate, thin layer of oil at top, which usually doesn’t bother me, but didn’t really add any flavor.  The broth at ord was sweeter, thinner, and just not as rich. The beef meatballs also had a strange off-taste (yes, more ‘off’ than they usually taste) to them that I didn’t much care for. The one thing Ord has going for them is that I ordered thick flat noodles in this bowl of soup and they were fantastic. Slick, wide, and still chewy.

I also have to give Ord points for giving the option of different sizes.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to eat a regular sized bowl after just eaten at Sapp, so I ordered the small ($3.50) which was perfect.

Verdict: Sapp Coffee shop is the winner in my book. The broth is better there and even though Ord’s noodle was better, it’s not fair comparing the noodles of both restaurants because I got the regular thin noodles at Sapp’s. Next time I go, I need to order the thick, wide noodles, but I think my decision will remain the same.

Vegan Rice Noodles @ Sapp

As a bonus, the lady at Sapp was nice enough to make the BF a special vegan plate of fried rice noodles. That’s always a few extra points in my book.  Also, for those who are scared of boat noodles, Sapp also has a lot more other noodle and rice dishes that aren’t quite as scary such as the Jade noodles, which Jessica ordered for the table:

Jade Noodles @ Sapp

Sapp Coffee Shop
5183 Hollywood Blvd Los Angeles
CA 90027
(323) 665-1035

Ord Noodles
5401 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90027-3405
(323) 468-9302