One of Los Angeles’s best — and spiciest — noodle restaurants, Mian, is moving forward with expansion plans during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The Chengdu Taste offshoot specializes in Chongqing-style Chinese cuisine, notably hearty bowls of noodles (as the name denotes) from a strip mall space off Valley Boulevard in San Gabriel. Now they’re headed further south, and east.
Eater has confirmed with partners Tony Xu and Sean Xie that Mian will open in Artesia next week, at 11632 South Street, keeping lunch through dinner hours via delivery and takeout. Xie calls the expansion the group’s “first step to move outside of the San Gabriel Valley” with Mian. Chengdu Taste, meanwhile, has expanded across the map in recent years, even into Las Vegas.
After Artesia, the group plans to continue growing with another opening in West Adams. That site, 5264 W. Adams Blvd., has been in the works since early 2019, and now should be ready by April of this year. The new locations by Xu and Xie are in partnership with longtime restaurateur Bill Chait, who came on board to help grow the company in several directions at once, including a formerly planned expansion of Chengdu Taste to the closed Church & State space in the Arts District. The group is also hoping to bring the first United States location of Xiaolongkan Chinese Hot Pot to Southern California at some point in the near future, too.
Mian has long been known as a staple spot for Sichuan heat and Chongqing noodles, even earning praise from the late food critic Jonathan Gold back in 2016, who said:
There is nothing quite like Mian. The flavors are bright and clean, informed as much by the tart funkiness of Sichuan pickles as by pure chile heat; the noodles (handmade, although not necessarily in-house) have an integrity and chew you might associate with good Italian pasta.
Meanwhile, competing Sichuan restaurant Sichuan Impression has also gone deep into the fast-casual market, opening a to-go ghost kitchen restaurant called Fire Belly on Melrose last summer. Expect Mian Artesia to open next week, followed by Mian West Adams in April, each with the usual assortment of staples like hot and sour noodles, beef noodles, fried egg noodles, sides, and more.