The long-awaited Mian by Chengdu Taste has opened. This is Tony Xu's fifth restaurant, and is the first new concept since opening Chengdu Taste on Valley Blvd in 2013. Mian's (Chinese for "noodle") concept replicates the popular street shacks in Chongqing, the only nation-level municipality known for Sichuanese food.
Interior design of this 38-seater comes via JIS Brothers, the popular design/architecture firm in SGV (Chuan's, Chengdu Taste 3, Moonlight) and features floor to ceiling windows along with matte dark colors and chalkboard lettering art stating the asserting the superiority of Chinese noodles over other Asian varieties.
There are a total 8 noodles dishes on the menu, none surpassing the ten-dollar mark. Menu pictograms explain the noodle's wetness, as well as spice level while an ingredient list in Chinese helps those with gluten intolerance or meat aversion. Chengdu's most famous noodles are listed as "Hot & Sour" noodles while "Chengdu Zajiang", and Chongqing city are represented in the "Zajiang with peas". The spice lover will find solace in the beef noodle soup with pickled chili peppers.
Most noodles have customizable toppings, and come in a single size only. For those who insist on eating dumplings at a place named "Noodle", there are 5 dumplings choices. Zhong (bell-shaped) dumplings — listed simply as "pork dumplings" — are carried over from Chengdu Taste. There are ten appetizers to round out the menu, and the craziest out of the bunch is the "marinated pork lips."
Mian soft opened on Sunday, grand opened Monday, and is set to serve both lunch and dinner with no interruption of service. Final notes: Xu's latest hit will be cash only and there are no plans to serve alcohol.
Mian by Chengdu Taste
301 W Valley Blvd #115
San Gabriel, CA