Sunday, March 14, 2010

Oodles of Noodles at Bamboodles

One of my oldest and best friends, Zoki, is a great fan of food of all types and she's an eating champ. Doesn't matter if it's a churrascaria, shabu-shabu or a gastropub, she is down for it. Zoki is the only person I know that almost always gets dessert.  I've even seen her order two desserts. The girl is not afraid to eat (see photo below).
So I always look forward to our monthly lunch/dinner date because we pick a new place every month and she is always as enthusiastic about trying something unusual or new. This month we dropped in on Bamboodles, a Chinese restaurant in San Gabriel that is known for making their own noodles fresh every day.  For those of you that know me, noodles are on the bottom of my personal food pyramid.  They make up about 40% of what I eat on a daily basis, the rest being 30% vegetables, 20% wine, 5% protein and 5% candy.

The prospect of a noodle style I haven't eaten yet was very exciting and Bamboodles didn't disappoint. Owners Chuck and Jason Lew have brought the Bamboodles concept from their native China to the Chinese community of San Gabriel in Los Angeles County. I got a chance to hang out and talk to Chuck and watch Master Kenny make them in the traditional method using a long bamboo pole.

It all starts with a Korean white flour that is mixed with 1 egg per pound of flour and water. The raw dough is then "kneaded" with a long bamboo pole that Master Kenny controls by hopping back and forth across the dough with the pole under his leg.   

The dough goes through a press, much like an oversized pasta maker. It is run through several times in increasingly smaller thicknesses. Not able to find these specialized machines in the U.S., Chuck imported them directly from China.

The dough is moved to the next machine which cuts the noodles into individual strands. You can see Kenny with a bag of flour, dusting them along the way.

He portions each batch into 20 perfect individual servings.

We took Chuck's recommendation and tried the Chicken Lo Mein.  It was nothing like any of the lo meins I've had in the past, it was done with a light white wine butter sauce and topped with delicate fried onions.  Understated and delicious--my favorite of the day.

The beauty of this one alone was worth trying it.  Green Tea Pork with Spinach Noodles.  Look at that color!

Spicy Wontons with Pork.  Not too spicy, and heavy on the garlic.  This is the dish you can smell as the server walks by with it...heavenly.

They also make wontons skins from scratch every day (that's a whole other post!).

Bamboodles House Dumplings. Zoki proclaimed they were the best dumplings she's ever had.

You can watch the noodles and wonton skins being made throughout the day through a window in the dining room.  Owner Chuck explains the process to some guests and their kids.

Bamboodles is located at 535 West Valley Blvd., San Gabriel, Ca. 91776. 626-281-1226.


  1. Holy moley, I want to eat my computer screen just to get to those noodles and wontons. Promise you'll take me there when I finally come visit you?

  2. I WANT those green tea noodles. Green tea anything is great in my book, but they look fabulous. Really interesting seeing how they're made too. Love this post Sarah.

  3. and it was great as leftovers the next day! the noodles really retained their elasticity and sponginess. the dumplings also held their own.


  4. This looks like a wonderful place to go. I wished I was fortunate enough to have a noodle place like this around me. I could only imagine how wonderful these noodles must taste!

  5. Mmmmmm. Noooooodles. You just gave me a new craving. I like your personal food Pyramid, too. Sounds a hell of a lot like mine (absent the wine during pregnancy, or course - I just substitute candy there now).

  6. Noodles or boodles? ;p
    Tried similar during a visit to Singapore and the store-made noodles were so springy! Nice.

  7. thank you so much for introducing me to this incredible noodle restaurant. I have GOT to get my butt down to the SGV ASAP. What beautiful noodles. What a fun day of eating.

  8. Hello, I just discovered your blog and you have won me over after just three posts. This is a fantastic behind the scenes post for noodle making! I am in middle of making homemade noodles and one of the quirky ways they beat and flatten the dough is by putting it in a plastic bag and stomping on it! Its so much fun.


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