I’ll go to Chinatown any time, but a Dr. Dog concert located just up the street at the Starlight Ballroom gave me a convenient excuse to convince friends to visit Nan Zhou Handdrawn Noodle House. Nan Zhou has been on my “to visit” list for months now, and did not disappoint. It’s small and has brusque service that requires a lot of pointing and ordering by number, but the noodle soup, either handdrawn in the small open kitchen or fresh-shaved, is delicious, ridiculously cheap, and arrives at the table in 5 minutes. I was so eager to start slurping my vegetable and fried egg soup with handdrawn noodles, I forgot to take a photo until half the soup was safe in my tummy, but I think you’ll still get the idea.
The vegetarian soup costs less than $4, though I added an extra, entirely unneeded deep-fried egg, for an additional 50 cents. You can see the tangle of fresh noodles, which got even more delicious as they absorbed more of the soup broth, the deep-fried egg, and what remained of the generous heap of fresh cilantro. The broth is quite delicate, and I added two Tbs. of hot chili oil and soy sauce. Handdrawn noodles can be difficult to find, and I’d suggest ordering these instead of the thicker, very doughy shaved noodles. The menu can be a bit difficult to decipher, mostly because of poor English translations, but I think they do offer one side dish that isn’t meat-based (my dining companions split the spicy beef tendons), Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce. Not being a fan of oyster sauce, or anything fishy, I skipped them, but wished for a vegetarian -friendly side dish. Overall, though, I was very pleased with the flavor of my soup, and its great value. The soup was so perfect on a blustery fall day, I somehow managed to finish the entire, huge, bowl!