My dear friend Calvin shared a review with me, written by the Gastronomy Blog. It was a review about this small, Chinese restaurant, specializing in Sichuan dishes. (Read the review here) I cannot tell you how many times I have passed by this restaurant and plaza, without a second look. However, the review I read and the opportunity to have lunch with Calvin was all the convincing I needed to come and take a look.
I met Calvin up, one Friday afternoon a few weeks ago at the restaurant. The plaza is small, with very limited parking. Luckily this plaza is next to San Gabriel Superstore, so you can always park there and walk over.
When we first entered the restaurant, the waitress greeted us and asked how many in Chinese. We were seated by the window, right next to the entrance. Immediately, some tea and a plate of shredded, pickled cabbage with peanuts was brought to the table.
If you take a look around, you’ll notice that the restaurant is quite small. It probably only fits a maximum of 20-25 people. The walls are painted a bright orange-red, and the walls are plainly decorated with Chinese lanterns and fake firecrackers. Don’t let the way this place looks deter you from trying the great food they have to offer.
I ordered a bowl of zhajiangmian, which turned out to be a really large portion. Calvin ordered the dan dan noodles, which was perfectly portioned. The zhajiangmian had a mountain of noodles, with a nice layer of sauce sitting on top of it. When it arrived, I mixed the sauce and noodles together, along with the chopped cucumber on top. When I took my first bite of the noodles, I was pleasantly surprised. The noodles were perfectly cooked and it had the best texture.
I really hate it when noodles are soggy, or if they have a slimy texture to them. The only thing that I was disappointed about was the fact that my noodles weren’t very spicy. Although, I suppose zhajianmian isn’t normally really spicy or anything, but I was hoping for a twist from a restaurant that serves Sichuan dishes. However, that is probably my fault for not choosing a specifically Sichuan dish. Calvin told me his dan dan noodles were quite good as well, and that the noodles were fresh and perfectly cooked as well.
During our meal, Calvin was explaining to me that the sign outside the restaurant doesn’t exactly translate into Lucky Noodle King. The Chinese characters on the sign above the restaurant actually translates into “The House of the Heavenly Kingdom.” I’ve noticed that in a few places, the Chinese name of restaurants don’t always match the English names that are presented outside their establishments. Why is this? I’m not too sure, but I kind of feel like the English translation of the Chinese name sounds more epic than “Lucky Noodle King.”
Overall, it was a great experience. I would love to come here again. If you’re nearby the market and want some good, cheap food (each bowl of noodles was about $6.50), then I suggest stopping by Lucky Noodle King.
534 E Valley Blvd Ste 10
San Gabriel, CA 91776