First off, Beijing Noodle Cafe is not Beijing Noodle No. 9, even though the similarly named restaurants both serve outstanding house-made noodles in rooms featuring goldfish tanks. But while Caesar Palace’s No. 9 is one of the most ornate spaces in town, the Cafe is housed snugly in a strip mall at Sandhill and Flamingo. Don’t let that stop you from checking it out.
- Beijing Noodle Cafe
- 4130 S. Sandhill Road, 641-0666.
- Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Friday & Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
One more connection: Cafe’s executive chef previously prepared noodles at No. 9, so it’s not surprising they’re exemplary. Three types are served: hand-, knife- and machine-cut, though you need to be specific about your choice. In Italian terms, hand-cut are like fettuccine, where machine-cut is a spaghetti doppelgänger. And knife-cut, well, that’s a shredded beast all its own. Choose based on personal preference, but know that knife-cut are a bit more difficult to eat, since you can’t wrangle them around your fork.
Don’t miss the Szechuan dan dan noodles ($7). The slightly spicy pork and peanut sauce is highly addictive, and though the dish is described as a soup on the menu, it’s effectively straight noodles. Or, as I now call it, heaven in a bowl. Vegetarian? The Szechuan eggplant with noodles ($7) is also impressive.
But man cannot live on noodles alone, so start with either the pork wontons in red chili sauce or vegetable pancakes. The wontons, bathed in chili oil, are perfectly wrapped bundles of pig. The crispy pancakes are served with a memorable vinegar-based dipping sauce. They’re $5 apiece, so maybe you should just get both.