Tasty Noodle House (Sawtelle Japantown): A Pictorial Essay

Muscle memory and family recipes, possessed by most of the village members, in lots and lots of towns and cities all across China.

and not executed well at Dim Sum places with 100 of dishes to make at the same time and dumps like Tasty Noodle…

Am I the only one on Google Maps triangulating other chinese restaurants within a mile radius of ROC to crack the Da Vinci J_L code?

Is it Moon House?


Oooh good call! I’ve reviewed a few menus to see if they have XLB – and cursed more than a few Yelpers for posting menu pix that aren’t properly oriented lol.

Heheh you guys are hilarious.


(and just in time for lunch!)

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I was wondering if it was that place! This is the place where a former iteration of the restaurant had some amazing secret dish, yes?


Hahahaha that was the Yelp menu pic I was complaining about!


I had a work meeting here today with one of my clients and the food here was very good. Much better than Chino Hills branch. The sheng jian bao were decent, but lacking. The rest of my meal was very good.

Lacking what???

No, really.

I don’t think the place is God’s gift to Chinese food, but I actually think the SJB there are pretty strong.

The dough was gummy and dense and the filling not that flavorful, a bit too mild for me.

After trying and failing at iFood (they were out of XLB on Saturday), decided to try the XLB Tasty Noodle. Full disclosure: I know less than Jon Snow, but I thought they were pretty… tasty! I’d rank 'em higher than ROC fur sure.

And the taro milk tea boba at next door Volcano is pretty tops.


Word. On both counts.

You guys are like arguing who the shortest midget is at the circus.


No. Shortest.

Cuz, I’d like to think that midgets have self-confidence and exude self-esteem.


I think these are fair criticisms. The soup can soak into the wrapper, which is a little bready.

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I think you asking @ipsedixit to elaborate on what he/she thinks are better options (i.e. taller than Tasty Noodle House/ROC in the general vicinity)? Or am I reading way too much into one word and one punctuation mark?

No just wondering if he got the saying backwards.

FWIW, I tried the XLB and liked them a lot. Definitely better than my recollection of ROC (though my experience there may have been atypical). I actually enjoyed them even more than the SJB we ordered. There was more soup and the filling tasted more flavorful. The plain old pan-fried pork dumplings were also quite tasty.

We also ordered a bunch of non-dumpling dishes. Surprisingly, the star of the show was the mapo tofu. Much spicier and more flavorful than I expected. Chow mein was also excellent. String bean with house sauce was solid. However, beef with scallion and black bean sauce was kind of a miss. I’d skip that next time.


Our first visit to Tasty Noodle House (Sawtelle) was during the Grand Opening, thanks to @J_L for the heads up. :slight_smile:

Shanghai Grilled Pork Bun:

Visually this looked promising! Nice sear on the bottom and the Sesame Seeds and glistening Grilled Pork Buns looked just like some of the ones we had in the San Gabriel Valley.

Taste-wise, they were on the medium-thick-side, but there was a nice subtle crunch on the bottom. The Marinated Ground Pork was fine. But as others have mentioned, there was no liquid inside. Still, prior to Tasty Noodle House, you really didn’t have great options for Grilled Pork Buns on the Westside.

Green Onion Pancake:

These were too greasy. :frowning: There was a slight crisp, but it’s probably not worth ordering again.

Sauteed Garlic with Seasonal Greens - “A Vegetable”:

This was delicious. :slight_smile: It’s hard to get it wrong, but thankfully Tasty Noodle House delivered a solid plate of Sauteed “A Vegetables” that tasted pretty much like what you’d get at many SGV restaurants.

Braised Pork and Tofu Skin in Soy Sauce:

These were a touch dry, but it had solid flavor. It tasted fresh, and there were some chunks that were tender and tasty, but some pieces were a bit overcooked.

Based on this visit, we felt like @bulavinaka, but I wanted to give them another try just to see if they improved.

2nd Visit:

So we recently went back and ordered many of the same dishes to see how they’ve fared.

Shanghai Xiao Long Bao (w/ Pork):

I knew I was asking for trouble, thanks to so many warnings from all of our FTC’ers about their XLB’s, but I wanted to see how bad they could be.

As you can see from the photos, it is as @bulavinaka @A5KOBE said: Leaky, broken Xiao Long Bao. :cry:

It reminded me of Mei Long Village in the SGV, when they were on downhill alert. So in terms of taste, the Marinated Ground Pork filling was a bit rough, somewhat tasty, but with half of the XLB’s broken (all the Soup leaked out), you’re left without one of the key components of a great XLB.

Definitely avoid.

Sauteed Garlic with Seasonal Vegetables - “A Vegetables”:

Delicious again. :slight_smile: These thankfully have stayed a constant “very good.”

Shanghai Grilled Pork Buns:

These arrived glistening and with a nice sear on the bottom just like the first time.

Taking a bite, it was moister than before, with the Marinated Ground Pork being moderately seasoned. I’ve had some Sheng Jian Bao that my friends took me to that seemed to have a little bit of Broth inside. There wasn’t any here.

However, with the subtle crunch and generally pleasing seasoning, they were just fine. :slight_smile: These don’t surpass Shanghai No. 1 Seafood when they were at the top of their game, nor a couple other places that we visited in the SGV, but for being on the Westside, it is great to have this option.

Braised Pork & Tofu Skin in Soy Sauce:

OK, these were much better than before. :slight_smile: Every piece was tender, moist and not too salty (nicely seasoned with a Soy Sauce based, long-braised flavor). I loved the Tofu Skin Knots as well, bathed in the luscious braising liquid. :slight_smile:

Ultimately, Tasty Noodle House (Sawtelle) is a welcome addition to the Westside for slowly improving the quality of Chinese cuisine, in this case Shanghai cuisine. The discussions we’re having on this place can change depending on how we’re viewing this place. When compared to all Shanghai restaurants in L.A. and the best San Gabriel Valley restaurants, Tasty Noodle House just can’t compare (except the Sauteed Vegetables with Garlic - they tasted pretty close to what you’d get in the SGV).

The Shanghai Grilled Pork Buns (Sheng Jian Bao) are not going to dethrone some of the FTC favorites like Shanghai No. 1 Seafood, and their Braised Pork & Tofu Skin isn’t going to topple @Porthos @CiaoBob’s favorite Shanghailander (their Braised Pork is simply on another level).

There’s also the issue of the restaurant having 206 items on the menu; that just feels like they’re trying to make something for everyone.

But when staring at Google Maps and seeing the non-stop crimson red line of traffic from hell, from Santa Monica to the San Gabriel Valley on a weeknight? Tasty Noodle House will do just fine. :slight_smile:

Tasty Noodle House (Sawtelle)
2117 Sawtelle Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Tel: (424) 248-3232