Despite the fake spring we had last week (remember that glorious 63-degree February day?), frigid temperatures are upon us again. Our winter survival strategy: noodles. There’s nothing better than cozying up to a plate (or bowl) of slurpable carbs, whether in Cambodian-inspired spaghetti and meatballs or in hand-cut Chinese black bean sauce noodles. Read on for our favorite noodles to eat right now.
Sunshine Noodles: Spaghetti and meatballs
The classic Italian American comfort food gets a Cambodian American twist at Diane Lam’s new Sunshine Noodles, where a barely detectable touch of fish sauce amps up the umami and sweetness of the tomato sauce. The meatballs are plump and juicy, the pasta firm and slurpable, showered with grated Parmesan and torn-up basil leaves. A dinnertime-only must-order.
Friendship Kitchen: Bún bò Huế
A bowl of Friendship Kitchen’s spicy beef noodle soup is warm and comforting, just like a hug from a friend should be. The thick, round rice noodles provide lots of chew and a slight sweetness that contrasts nicely with the chile-tinged lemongrass broth, bulked up with slices of beef and Vietnamese ham. Got vegan friends? There’s vegan pho for them, too.
Bing Mi Dumpling & Noodle Bar: Zha Jiang Mian
At the newly opened brick-and-mortar restaurant from the owner of the jianbing cart Bing Mi, zha jiang noodles—thick, bouncy wheat noodles in black bean sauce—are not to be missed. They’re tossed with shredded cucumber, carrots, and radish slivers, plus your choice of pork belly nuggets or tofu and shiitake mushrooms.
Bake on the Run: Vegan chow mein
This Top Chef–featured cart claims to be the only Guyanese restaurant on the West Coast. The chow mein is wildly different from what you’d find at your favorite Chinese restaurant, down to the Champion-brand noodles that are imported from Guyana by the cart’s owners. What sets these noodles apart, according to Bake on the Run: the sediment-rich waters from Guyana’s 60-plus rivers, which are combined with local wheat to create these noodles. At the cart, they’re soaked overnight in a blend of soy sauce and teriyaki sauce, then combined with peas, carrots, and melt-in-your-mouth salty chunks of tomato.