Back in April, I noted that Xian Kitchen was opening. I kept an eye on the former Jin's Pot location and they really turned it around quick. On a visit in the beginning of May, I noticed a sign saying they were opening on May 5th.
So a couple of days after they opened I dropped by.
There were two guys and three women working. When I spoke English, the two guys wanted nothing to do with me. In fact, they really didn't seem to want anything to do with any customer. The really nice young lady confirmed with me that this place is owned by the same person as Xian Kitchen in City of Industry. This is both good and bad. The good, we're finally getting some different Chinese options down here. The bad; well the service at Xian Kitchen in COI was terrible...pretty much old style SGV....and that seemed to have carried over to here.
Meanwhile the place had filled up in twenty minutes.....
And I was still waiting for my Yang Rou Pao Mo.....25 minutes later. Meanwhile I had the pleasure of hearing the guy on the table slurping away....which wasn't bad, neither was the burp. But when he cracked that loud fart...well that was something I hadn't heard in a while.
I will say, I kind of enjoyed the liveliness of the place. It reminded me of China....the place is pretty loud as the surfaces in the interior really reflect sound.
I did finally get my Yang Rou Pao Mo; while not even close to being as good as what I had in Xi'an, was actually better than what I had at the COI location. That bread is all wrong, but the broth was so wonderfully lamb-y, not overly salty, and I felt totally stuffed. As you can tell. This ain't your "meat lover's" plate.
As I left, the place was packed....and not a single word of English could be heard.....and there was a line forming outside.
I mentioned the place to my co-eaters Lily and "YZ". I knew Lily, from Taiyuan was going to love this stuff, "YZ", I wasn't sure. One thing I was sure of, the place was going to remind them of China.
When we arrived, there was a single occupied table....ten minutes later, the place was packed.
We managed to place our orders and the Rou Jia Mo arrived within a few minutes. Like the Yang Rou Pao Mo, it not even close to being like what you'd get in Xi'an, but was better than what I experienced at the COI location.
Porky, fatty....I do think there should be a bit more pork in these. The bread was passable, slightly yeasty, decent crust. Not a good value, not even close what I expect.
Now came the waiting......
About 15 minutes later, out came the Niu Rou Pao Mo.....
We were told that this was "beef soup"...but it was indeed lamb. So basically "YZ" a non-mutton eater could go at it so it came to me. Some advice....get the lamb version of this.
About 15 minutes later Lily's "Everything soup" came out. All the "good stuff" from the mutton, with basically the same broth as all the other items.
When YZ ordered her soup; I didn't trust what the server said so I ordered the hand pulled noodles with pork. Sadly, it took nearly 45 minutes to get to the table.......45 minutes for stir fried noodles.....
These were actually pretty good. The noodles had a decent texture; that were firm, with a nice chew....what folks term as "QQ". In terms of flavor; I thought it needed a bit more cumin and tended toward the bland side. Because of the timing of the dish, we took most of it to go.
Look at the line as we were leaving......
Part of me rejoiced at the line. It shows that there's a demand for regional Chinese food that's not second rate Sichuan, Hot Pot, or lousy dim sum. The crowds I saw were interesting. Students and younger people searching for good homestyle/street style noodle, soup, and stir fry dishes and groups of older folks ordering huge plates of Islamic Chinese dishes. I hope they get their service and kitchen straight. I've dealt with "SGV" service and am used to it....but I've never waited 45 minutes for noodles before. In other words, at this time, you might want to think about eating here if you're starving. You might pass out from hunger...and based on the service, they'd just step over your twitching body without a thought.
4690 Convoy St
San Diego, CA 92111