The Noodle Loft

Last night we went to a delicious and fun restaurant called The Noodle Loft. This restaurant is Shanxi-style and reflects that's province's fascination with noodles. They make a vast assortment of noodles there, all by hand, using a variety of techniques -- pulling, pinching, throwing, shaving with a knife, whacking off with a chopstick, and so on. We had four different types and barely scratched the surface.

One really cool preparation is where they make an entire serving of pasta from one very long noodle. The chef stands about 4-5 feet from the boiling water, pulls the dough from behind him and throws the single strand into the pot. He repeats this motion, pulling more yardage of noodle from the dough and throwing it. It's hard to describe but fun to watch. Here's a (bad) photo of the action. You can kind of see the long green noodle in motion.

Shanxi long noodle being thrown through the air.

On top of their good food, they had a show kitchen so you could see all the action. It had a bar around one edge with seats for a close-up view. The boys enjoyed watching everything and then got in on a the dough handling when one of the cooks gave them each a blob of dough. Andrew (11) declared that he might want to work there someday. (He's deciding between noodle chef, US Marine sniper, and Microsoft game developer. Pretty wide range.)

The Chinese name (面酷 - mian4 ku4) is way better than Noodle Loft. I think it can be translated as "Cool Noodles", "Extreme Noodles" or even "Cruel Noodles". Either way, it's a great place that we'll be headed back to.

(I've included a scan of both sides of their business card to help you find it. I'll try to do this going forward when the card has a map or other useful info.)

Front and back of the Noodle Loft business card

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