Shanxi (not to be confused with Shaanxi) is a northern Chinese province not all that far away from Beijing. The cuisine is famous for handmade noodles -- hand-pulled, hand-kneaded, and knife-shaved, among others. In fact, it is said that Shanxi is the home of the Chinese noodle, and it's the province Marco Polo visited before he, allegedly, took the recipes back to Italy and Europe.
Here are three great places in Los Angeles to get your Shanxi noodle fix.
New Mandarin Noodle Deli
The owner is from Shanxi and the menu boasts six different types of noodles. You can choose a broth and protein, but we highly recommend gravitating toward the lamb selections -- the region's specialty. The chef also has quite a repertoire of self-invented beef rolls, creations he's proud of because "Americans love it. It's like a burrito." 9537 Las Tunas Dr., Temple City, CA 91780; 626-309-4318.
JTYH is actually named Heavy Noodle II, but passersby often confuse the name of the plaza, JTYH, with the name of the actual restaurant. This is a dao xiao mian specialist, dao xiao meaning knife-shaved. Chef Shi Peng (above) made his own knife and has been under the toque for 27 years. No MSG is used. 9425 Valley Blvd., Rosemead; 626-442-8999.
Kam Hong Garden
Kam Hong whips up a mean tomato and egg cold noodle dish, and the texture is one of the best in Los Angeles. The chef is a Shanxi native and has put over 50 permutations of noodle dishes on the menu. Noodles are made three different ways: hand-kneaded, hand-pulled, and knife-shaved. 848 E. Garvey Ave., Monterey Park; 626-280-9318.