Los Angeles’s embarrassment of riches in diverse cultures can occasionally lead to the city feeling a bit like a culinary Tower of Babel. Particularly in the San Gabriel Valley, what with its intimidating signage usually primarily written in Chinese, uncovering the region’s wealth in Asian food and distinguishing between the various regional styles (and even countries) can seem daunting. To that effect, noodles are a starchy lingua franca, a common ingredient that can act as an introduction point to various different types of cuisine.
They’re also delicious entirely on their own, of course, in absentia of cultural context. From zhajiangmian to lamb noodle soups, to Thai-style boat noodles, it’s mind-boggling to consider the seemingly endless array of ingredient permutations alongside a simple starchy carbohydrate. Distilling the San Gabriel Valley’s offerings to a pittance of ten selections is probably a minor crime — so be sure to weigh in in the comments with anything missing. The bowls are presented from west to east, not in any ranked order.Read More