Here’s the first tip: Sit at the bar at The Noodle Man. Get an up-close look at the three-station setup and watch this brigade make delicious magic.
On the left side, you’ll see the giant skillets and cast-iron pans that look like they date back ages. This is where the assorted pancakes are prepared. The most popular choice is probably the Mongolian beef version, but I opt for the vegetable pancake ($5). The oily and crisp dough is stuffed with egg, leek, dry tofu and sweet potato vermicelli. The pickled carrots and daikon served on the side are so unique, you’ll keep going back for more trying to figure out what exactly the chefs did to conjure that taste.
The middle station houses industrial-size woks and stock pots. This is where the base of your amazing handmade noodle soup ($8) is made. Tip No. 2: Remember the number B3, because that’s the listing for Shanxi knife-sliced noodle soup. Beef brisket, sweet potato vermicelli, black fungus, pickled cabbage, green onion and cilantro comingle to create something so much greater than each of the already delicious parts.
Over to the right, you’ll see the chef in charge of making noodles. How cool is that? Maybe he’ll be working on the long thin noodles that go into the hot and spicy soup. Ground pork, peanuts, bean sprouts, preserved vegetable, spinach and chopped green onion round out this dish.
It’s fun to watch your food being made. There’s something Zen about it. It’s even more fun to eat this stuff. Tip No. 3: Not everything has to be Zen.
The Noodle Man 6870 S. Rainbow Blvd. #101, 702-823-3333. Daily, 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.