People Line Up for HOURS to Try These Spicy Chinese Noodles in LA
By Carl Samson
February 28, 2020
A noodle stand specializing in a spicy recipe from northwestern China has now captivated taste buds in Los Angeles.
Bang Bang Noodles, located in Highland Park, has seen people line up for its famous “biang biang mian” for hours — to the point of bowls selling out even before it opens.
The business barely created a fuss when it opened in 2017, but owner Robert Lee eventually had customers coming back for more.
Lee, who just turned 40, has years of experience working at various restaurants — including a two-Michelin star — that offered noodles and pasta on their menu.
However, Lee only recently started making biang biang mian, a popular hand-pulled noodle dish from the city of Xi’an in China’s Shaanxi Province.
“When I was growing up, people would mix up Taiwanese and other northern Chinese foods,” Lee told Eater Los Angeles. “I want to express my cooking with another kind of Chinese region. I want to be focused on Xi’an. It took me until this age to focus on this region. Now I want to share that discovery with other people, to show a whole other side of Chinese food.”
Ordering from Bang Bang Noodles is very simple. Customers need only to (1) pick either dry noodles or noodles in broth and (2) have beef, lamb, seitan or wood ear and shiitake mushrooms in it.
Each bowl/plate costs $12. Lee can prepare up to six dozen orders per service, though he can do more sometimes.
As of this writing, Bang Bang Noodles has 6,600 followers on Instagram, a steady growth since word figuratively and literally spread on the streets.
In recent posts, Lee apologizes for closing ahead of the announced time, but most patrons are kind to understand, congratulating him on his success.
Still, others hope that Lee would eventually open a restaurant, where they can wait more conveniently for his delectable cuisine.
“Seriously … I’d be pissed if I was waiting in line for that long. You really need a restaurant or something,” one commented.
Bang Bang Noodles cooks at either 5040 York Blvd or 5537 N. Figueroa, in front of Kindness & Mischief Coffee. Aside from biang biang mian, the stand occasionally offers other Xi’an street food such as liangpi, the Los Angeles Times noted.
For now, Lee updates customers with a weekly schedule on Instagram. Closing times, however, are determined daily.
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