May 14, 2010

Eye on Food: Urban Noodle

118 W. 4th Street, Los Angeles, (213) 626-0662
I'm glad I ate at Urban Noodle before I read about it on Yelp. Many reviews said that this little downtown noodle shop was inauthentic, but . . . didn't they read the sign? Urban a.k.a. characteristic of the city or city life. And what makes a city? Diversity, the hodgepodge, the jumble of different people, places and things. So to you (and them) I say, stick to searching for udon or lo mein elsewhere, but go to Urban Noodle for marvelous Pan-Asian cuisine.

We kicked this Wednesday night off with the sticky chicken rice wrapped in lotus leaves. The chicken was tender and the rice a little sweet leaving us scraping the leaves for the last grain. Then we shared a bowl of the spicy beef stew noodles which was a perfect combination of slightly crispy noodles, tender beef, bok choy and star anise. I could have had the broth alone it was so fragrant and comforting. Finally, we shared the shrimp balls which were perfectly crispy and paired well with the sauce. And while the food was delicious and had interesting flavors you can't find in a super traditional joint, one of the best parts of the experience was meeting Arturo, a waiter who has been at the Urban Noodle before it was and who has been at Pete's down the street for half a decade. He reminded us that we should order delivery on Thursday nights (except for during the Downtown Art Walk) as he will promptly bike to bring it to us. So to those Yelpers who had something to say about the service? Keep your eyes open for Arturo. . .

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