L.A. is a big city with huge number of immigrants from Mainland China.
Therefore, it is not surprising to know a famous Chinese fast food chain that have more that 400 branches in China - Malan Noodle actually opened its first oversea noodle house in L.A back to 1999.
We ordered 2 types of cold side dishes as appetizers.
I like this cold fuchuk. Slightly sour with a touch of sesame's fragrance. The fuchuk maintained the texture for a good chewing moment.
This one was Mr. Food Guide's favorite. It is called Tiger Salad. Well, I only tried a bit on the green pepper and cucumber. I didn't dare to eat much because of the generous portion of cilantro in it.
Undeniable, this is a good plate of salad even with slight smell of cilantro polluting it. I would love to have one without the cilantro but this was a pre-made dish. :(
Ok... the main thing in this shop is the Lanzhou style Ramen (link in Mandarin only).
In Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu province, this style of ramen is simply called as Beef Noodle.
Gansu province has a huge population of Hui Chinese, a Chinese ethnic group that practive Islamic religion. The Malan Noodle is based on the noodle from this region, which explain why the popular usage of beef instead of pork. However, there is a critic saying that Malan Noodle is deteriorating in business due to the poor management (source from here in Mandarin only).
In China, the surname Ma (from the word Muhammad) is a common surname generally used by the Hui people. Muhammad is now the most common name (first and last) in the world. It is estimated that more than 15 million people in the world bear the name Muhammad.
However, there is another fact that enlighten me the more.
Here is the quote from Wikipedia :
Hui in Malaysia
"There is evidence that Chinese Hui migrated to Peninsular Malaysia in the influx of Chinese labourers during the 19th and late 20th century. Chinese who have the surname Ma are suspected to have Hui ancestory. A number of them settled in the region of Lumut in Peninsular Malaysia. It is speculated that these Muslims assimilated with the local non-Muslim Chinese and now most of them are no longer Muslims. Nontheless, there are those who still maintain their Islamic faith. A famous Chinese Muslim missionary in Malaysia has the surname of Ma. There are increasing numbers of Chinese Muslims converts to Islam. If they are married to Muslim Malaysian indigenous persons, their offspring are officially accepted as part of the "Bumiputra" (indigenous people or 'sons of the land"). Otherwise, the society might treat them as party of the large Chinese minority group. However as Islam is also an ethnic marker in Malaysia (Islam = Malay race), many Chinese converts in Malaysia tend to adopt and assimilate into the indigenous culture. However, there is a trend since the 1900s for Chinese converts to retain their original pre-Muslim Chinese surname, probably to maintain their cultural identity
Present Prime Minister of Malaysia, Yang Berhormat Encik Abdullah Badawi, can trace part of his ancestry back to Hui as his maternal grandfather is of Hui minority migrated from Hainan Island in China to Peninsular Malaya."
Geee... such a good learning chapter for me just because of a bowl of Beef Noodle that I have tasted. ^_^
Ok, enough for the food unrelated things. Back to my food talk. :P
There were 7 types of noodles for us to choose.
After we placed our orders, they started to make the noodles for us.
See? Freshly from the dough.
Ehhem... not a Chinese who made the noodle for us though. Still, he was very good in making the noodle.
However, he made a mistake. Different from our orders, he made 2 bowls of same noodle for us, the Triangle.
We requested for a remake.
Tralala~~~ finally my bowl of Large Flat, or literally "Belt" in Chinese was ready to eat.
A typical Lanzhou Ramen will be ready within 3 min from the dough to the customer. (Ours took much longer time though). Then, you must have the 1 Clear 2 White 3 Red 4 Green, which means a clear soup, white noodle and radish, red chili oil and green cilantro and onion.
However, for fish fish, we wanted a version without the cilantro. Poor Mr. Food Guide, a fan of cilantro, have to sacrifice his bowl of Triangle too without the cilantro because the wagamama fish fish want to taste the noodle in his bowl as well. Thank q~~~
Maybe I was biased, but somehow my bowl of Belt have tastier clear soup. I didn't enjoy the beef much though, quite tasteless to me. However, I am in love with that chewy noodle. So much like a Pan Mee, but with a more elastic chew. I prefered Belt over Triangle, as opposed to Mr. Food Guide. Heeee... good! I can have more Belt for myself. :P
A whole big bowl, there were only 2 strands of Belt in my bowl. Big and long Belt!! Hehe.
After that bowl of Lanzhou Ramen, I am indeed placing "Try the REAL Lanzhou Ramen in Lanzhou that has more than 1000 years history" in my eating list. :P *Oops, a bit too ambitious huh?* :P
Gosh, I couldn't believe I wrote so much for this post. Good night. Time to take a shower and Zzzzzzz...