Mama’s Kitchen: Beef Noodle Soup with Pork Cutlet

Mama's Kitchen: Beef Noodle Soup with Pork Cutlet
If you can’t tell by now I love noodles in soup. I went to Mama’s Kitchen this weekend and it certainly lives up to its name. The place is very small with only a handful of tables. You order at the counter, where Mama works, and she brings it out to your table.

There’s no menu other than the pictures on the wall, so it can be a little intimidating. My dad said it’s because it’s well…mama’s kitchen. You don’t order off a menu at your own mother’s kitchen, why would you do it at Mama’s Kitchen? Luckily, there’s also a display case of cold appetizers you can point at to get you started.

The lady in front of me in line ordered the beef noodle soup with pork cutlet and that sounded good to me, so I ordered it too. I’m not really sure what it’s called in English, but in Mandarin it’s pai-goo mien. It comes with machine made noodles by default, but if you ask for hand-made (shou gan mien) they’ll give it to you for a dollar extra.

The noodle soup wasn’t the best I had, but it was still good and comforting. I wouldn’t make Mama’s Kitchen a destination spot, but if you’re in the neighborhood and you’re craving something that tastes home-made, this place can satisfy the craving.

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Mama’s Kitchen
1718 S New Ave
San Gabriel, CA 91776

Kam Hong Garden

The craving for some chewy handmade noodles drove us to this new place in Monterey Park: Kam Hong Garden. Just driving by, it looks a little too clean and sterile for the SGV, but the food was surprisingly good and the staff are friendly and accommodating to vegan/vegetarian patrons.
Kam Hong Garden: hand shaven noodles
The vegetable stir fried hand-cut noodles (vegan) looked good and had a nice wok-chi flavor. The BF thought it wasn’t hearty enough and there was too much cabbage, but I thought it tasted fine.
Kam Hong Garden: Spring onion pancake
We also ordered some spring-onion pancakes (vegan). They were tasty, but nothing special. They lost their crunch pretty quickly, unfortunately.
Kam Hong Garden: House Special Hand Shaven Noodle Soup
This is my favorite dish from Kam Hong Garden so far and it deserves the number one spot on the menu. I don’t know what it’s called in English, so I’ll just call it “House Special Noodle Soup”. In Chinese, I order it as san shi dao xiao mien. It’s beef noodle soup with a deep beefy broth, curled slices of kombu, slices of cucumber, and hand-shaved noodles. It tastes especially good after a splash of the black vinegar.
Kam Hong Garden: Jia-jian mien
For those who don’t want to brave having hot broth on a scorcing summer day, there’s always jia-jian mien (vegan). I don’t think the usual version is vegan, but if you specify it to the waiter, he can make it vegan for you.
Kam Hong Garden: Beef wraps
The beef wraps were also surprisingly good. For a place that specializes in noodles, I didn’t expect this to taste so good, but people seemed to like it. I love the sweet paste they have inside and I don’t even mind the cilantro even though I usually hate it. Very refreshing on a hot day.
Kam Hong Garden: xlbs
Maybe it was a mistake to order this, but the xiao long baos were only okay. They’re hand-made and sometimes you can see Mama Yang behind the glass stuffing them, but they don’t compare to the xlbs at other places. I thought the filling was a bit too hard and salty, but the wrapping was nice and chewy.

Kam Hong Garden is a great choice if you’re craving hand made noodles. For most of the noodle dishes, you can specify if you want hand-shaved noodles (the long, flat wavy lasagna-like kind), hand-pulled (long, thin and irregular), or even nien gao (rice ovalettes). I’m a big fan of hand-shaven noodles in soup because they’re so chewy and satisfying, so I would definitely suggest ordering any type of hand-shaved noodles in soup.

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Kam Hong Garden
848 E Garvey Ave
Monterey Park, CA 91755