LAGuide

Where To Find Great Hand-Pulled Noodles In The San Gabriel Valley

Spicy cumin lamb, sizzling chili oil, and cold sesame noodles, to name a few.
Bowl of hand-pulled noodles

photo credit: Kim Fox

It’s not difficult to find noodles in Los Angeles. But there are noodles, and then there are hand-pulled noodles: flat and billowy, chewy and bouncy, and the perfect vehicle for chili crisp, pickled vegetables, sesame sauce, and more.

Across the San Gabriel Valley, you’ll find a rich diversity of hand-pulled options, from Chongqing-style noodles doused in tingly chili oil to Lanzhou-style noodles in hot and savory broth. Whether you like thin or flat, round or knife-cut, spicy or chilled, here are our favorite places to get hand-pulled noodles in the SGV.

THE SPOTS

photo credit: Matt Gendal

Chinese

Arcadia

$$$$Perfect For:Quiet MealsCasual Weeknight Dinner

Lan Noodle greets you with a show. Mandarin songs pour from the speakers, clangs of stock pots fill the dining room, and a chef calmly swinging strands of dough stands behind a kitchen window. You'll find eight noodle shapes to choose from, the most of any spot on this guide. The signature Lan noodles come with thin slices of melt-in-your-mouth beef, buttery soft radish, and a generous scoop of chili oil, all submerged in beef broth. For a creamier and nuttier broth, the Lanzhou Street Noodles stand out from the usual suspects—the vegetarian-friendly broth is enriched with peanut and sesame paste. And if you’re closer to the Westside than the SGV, Lan Noodle also has a location in West Hollywood.

If it’s your first time at Chong Qing Special Noodles, order the namesake dish, the #30, or Chongqing handmade noodles. Thick threads of noodles are paired with bok choy, ground pork, and a fried egg, while the broth has the signature tingly heat of Sichuan cuisine and a puckery flavor from pickled veggies that settle to the bottom of the bowl. for something not as mouth-numbing but still comforting, there are hand-pulled tomato and egg noodles and soybean paste noodles. Round out your meal with an order of their Sichuan dumplings: thin, flat pork-filled patties with chewy skins. The chili crisp heaped on top might induce a runny nose, but it’ll be worth it.

photo credit: Kim Fox

$$$$Perfect For:Lunch

You can hear the sound of noodles being slapped and pounded from the parking lot of this San Gabriel noodle joint hidden near the back of a two-story shopping plaza. Their Xi’an lamb noodles marry the gaminess of lamb with fiery Sichuan peppers and tangy black vinegar. Although the flavor is balanced and delicious, the bite of the wide, flat noodles is unrivaled—bouncy, springy, and wonderfully chewy. We prefer to skip the soups here and go for dry and stir-fried noodles, which really let the “QQ” texture of the noodles shine.

photo credit: Matt Gendal

$$$$Perfect For:Casual Weeknight Dinner

There are seven noodle shapes to choose from at this perpetually busy strip mall joint, each with its own appeal. The wide ones offer extra springy texture, while thin, angel hair noodles are better suited for soup. No matter which you pick, you’ll have a view of the in-house noodle master swinging long strands like a ribbon dancer. The move is to get the house special beef noodle combination, which comes with a tea egg or fried egg (get the tea egg), a cold side dish (go with the hot-and-sour kelp), and a drink. Dry noodle options are great, too, like vegetarian cold noodles or stir-fried noodles with a choice of protein.

photo credit: Kim Fox

$$$$Perfect For:Casual Weeknight Dinner

Noodle Art is unfussy. Expect to refill your own water cup, but also expect a menu loaded with gems from Xi’an. Start with the three-topping spicy noodles, which pile hand-pulled noodles with tomato egg stew, fatty pork cubes, a mushroom and potato medley, plus a sprinkling of scallions and chili powder. The fermented bean noodles, served with julienned cucumbers, are also worthwhile, thanks to the balance of stewed umami sauce, sticky noodles, and fresh cucumbers. Chilled sesame noodles are nutty and spicy, lightened up by a fistful of crunchy beansprouts. And if you have room for a little snack, get the pork “burger,” a toasted flatbread sandwich filled with carnitas-esque fatty shredded pork.

photo credit: Jakob Layman

$$$$Perfect For:Lunch

This Northern Chinese restaurant, located in a strip mall next to an old par-three golf course, won't catch your attention from the street. There’s only seven tables and the blinds are often drawn, but don’t let that dissuade you. If it's your first time, order the wife’s special noodles, which arrive with a trio of toppings: tomato and egg, fried pork, and a minced meat and black bean stew similar to jajangmyeon. The noodles here, unlike most on the list, aren't wide and flat, but circular and thin—akin to spaghetti. You can order knife-cut noodles for their stir-fried dishes, but even those aren’t thicker than a pencil.

Meet Qin sits on a stretch of Main Street in Alhambra with excellent food—including dim sum at Lunasia or stir-fried Indonesian dishes from Borneo Eatery—but this noodle joint holds its own. Hand-pulled noodles are available in three ways: in soup, stir-fried, or dry. The sizzling oil biang biang noodles are as head-turning as the fajitas at Chili’s, still sputtering as the chili crisp blooms in the hot oil. The noodle soup isn’t as performative, but the clear broth with tender beef chunks is pure comfort. There are also fun riffs, too: mapo tofu noodles arrive with generous amounts of cubed silken tofu and fiery minced pork, while the egg and tomato soup is gently sweet with fluffy egg curds.

photo credit: Matt Gendal

$$$$Perfect For:Dining Solo

One of the specialties at Shaanxi Datang is liang pi, or spicy cold noodles from China’s Shaanxi province. It’s a particularly refreshing dish perfect for summer thanks to the combination of tart vinegar, fresh cucumber, and stretchy chilled noodles. In terms of sauce, the liang pi here comes with either chili crisp or a nutty sesame dressing. Their hot hand-pulled noodle dishes are equally special: there are stir-fried noodles slicked with oily lamb and nose-tickling cumin, and hot-and-sour noodles with stewed tofu, pork, and cubed potatoes that will clear your sinuses.

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