On this visit to Southern California, we read a review in the Los Angeles Times of Kam Hong Garden, a Chinese restaurant in Monterey Park that specialized in making its own noodles. Here, they offer four kinds of pasta: hand-pulled (la mian), knife-cut (bai mian), hand-shaven (dao xiao mian), and flat noodles that are wider than linguine.
For lunch, four of us decided to head there and wound up ordering four different kinds of soup noodles, all with bai mian. This would be a good test of quality consistency. All the soups were wonderful, the broth in each made differently to complement the ingredients. Here are my tasting notes:
Cold Dried Bean Curd Sheet appetizer: sliced dried tofu sheet bundles mixed with cucumber, fried peanuts, dried chili flakes and cilantro. There was a hint of five-spice powder.
Seafood Spicy Noodle Soup: a flavorful seafood broth made spicy by fried whole dried chili peppers served with bai mian, squid, white fish fillets, shrimp, fish cake, tree ears, green onions and thinly sliced cabbage.
Shanxi Noodle Soup: with its five-spice flavor, the wonderful beef broth is reminiscent of pho broth but is thicker and oilier. The bai mian is topped with succulent chunks of beef and slices of pork, both tender from long simmering. Cucumbers, sliced konbu, and cilantro round out the flavors.
Beef Stewed Noodle Soup: the broth is similar to the Shanxi noodle soup but doesn’t have its seaweed flavor. Slightly spicy, it too comes with bai mian and chunks of tender beef, green onions and cilantro.
Pork Chop Noodle Soup: fried pork chops infused with five-spice flavor. Slightly sweet and very crispy and tender, they are meant to be mixed with the accompanying bai mian noodle soup that is topped with spinach and cilantro.
A return visit will need us to try the other noodles. Excellent food.
Kam Hong Garden Restaurant
848 E. Garvey Ave.
Monterey Park, CA 91755
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