Saturday, March 6, 2010

Got Beef Noodle Soup?

My recent pursuit? The best freakin' beef noodle soup around town.

I've never fancied beef noodle soup before. It wasn't until recently, due to J's fervent infatuation with it, that I found myself probing deep into the unchartered territories of Monterey Park, Rosemead, and San Gabriel.
What appeared as a simple quest was actually quite arcane.

What constitutes a good beef noodle soup?

From my minimal knowledge on this subject, I believe the Taiwanese and northern Chinese version are noticeably different. The former being spicier, heavier and paired with pickled cabbage. On top of that you have the wide array of noodles to choose from; hand pulled, knife shaved, vermicelli and what not. With all these variations, one can only imagine the response I get when asked the question, "Where's the best beef noodle soup around town?"

To make a long story short, I compiled a list of places to try and after much noodle slurping came up with these results. JTYH  Restaurant in Rosemead is across the board, heralded as one of the best. Their knife cut noodles are al dente, like it should be. But the beef soup, albeit good, is a bit too light for my liking. It lacks the oomph of star anise and chili oil that I'm accustomed to.

JTYH (taken from Yelp)               Liang's Kitchen                    

On the contrary, the broth in Liang's Kitchen has the perfect medley of spices and packed with heat. What makes this dish a cut above JTYH is the soup. The union of tomatoes and onions cooked until juices merge into one (excuse the double entendre), makes JTYH's soup seem almost bland in comparison. 
Although it seems that Liang's Kitchen takes the torch for now, but I've not completed this search for the great noodle. This will be ongoing. This will lead me to find the ULTIMATE beef noodle soup.           

1 comment:

  1. The NRM soup at Liang's Kitchen is unbeatable in L.A. I believe I've eaten in Taiwan NRM restaurants that are better, but that was years ago and I wonder if I would still think that way with my evolved palate. Either way, Liang's Kitchen is special.