Friday, February 25, 2011

I love noodles

If I ever have the unfortunate experience of having a "last meal" (I suppose we all will someday, right?) I would be hard pressed on an answer. Part of me would want my great-grandmother's recipe for aglio olio, which is basically linguine with garlic, olive oil and red pepper flakes. It's a comfort food like no other, and my family has morphed it into further comfort status by adding chicken stock, mushrooms, and lots of parmesan cheese. I could swim in it.

However, my other favorite might be any other noodle dish on earth. I love them all - pad thai, chow fun, pan fried, pho, soba, chow mein, buckwheat, vermicelli, udon...I could go on forever. Which is why, to my utter delight, I was thrilled when Urban Noodle opened.

I wandered in one Sunday evening by myself after landing at LAX and realized I had no food in the fridge. There were so many tasty noodle dishes from which to choose I was stumped. Fortunately, the won ton spoke to me that night. It just sounded so comforting and perfect, and I was ready for a simple broth and squishy dumplings. I was informed that the dumplings were hand-made daily by the chef, which sounded pretty good to me. If I could rest my head on a dumpling pillow every night I would actually consider it.

The soup came and I noticed a twist - they had noodles in this version. Small, thin and simple, it was a nice surprise to this noodle fan. The bowl was steaming hot, and the broth was delicious - clean, flavorful, just salty enough, and rich with flavor. The veggies were fresh, with a little crispness left in them. I took a bite of the dumpling...let me stop right here. I love to be dramatic about my food. I often claim something is the "best I've ever had" with great relish and fervor. I kid you not - this WAS the best dumpling I've ever had. It had a porky filling that was bursting with taste. I actually looked at the waitress who was standing behind the counter and mouthed the words "OH MY GOD." The won ton itself was silky smooth and a perfect wrapping. I've never had such a simple soup taste so amazing. No MSG either.

It took a while for my soup to come out (was he making the dumplings right there??) so I was treated to a free dish of ice cream: Black Sesame, Ginger, Thai Iced Tea, or Vanilla Bean. I chose Black Sesame. Again, orgasmic. I almost fell off my chair. What I love about Asian desserts is that most are semi-sweet and delicate. This was a heady flavor, perfect after my meal. And fragrant. And black! Super cool.

So, as we get ready for possible snow in LA for the first time in a while, I highly recommend a bowl of this heavenly comfort to keep you warm and dry.

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