Reviews

New noodles: Shang delivers artful food in a modern setting

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Shang’s aesthetic might be sleek, but the noodles are totally legit.
Photo: Jon Estrada

A new Chinese noodle shop has arrived in a Flamingo storefront, but unlike many of its Chinatown-area peers, Shang Artisan Noodle is no back-alley hole-in-the-wall. Its space is contemporary, outfitted in wood and stone. But don’t let the fancy digs fool you: Shang doles out legit noodles and other Chinese fare.

Three varieties of noodles are available—hand-pulled, knife-shaved and plain—but the first two are the ones that matter. The hand-pulled are long and thin, while the knife-shaven are thick and chewy, better for soaking up the soupy broth from either the beef or pork-and-chicken version. The former is hearty and complex, each spoonful unctuous and umami-laden, while the latter is significantly lighter but no less flavorful, a milder riff on tonkotsu ramen.

It’s a good thing the broths are so impactful, because the proteins aren’t particularly memorable. Braised beef brisket in the namesake Shang beef noodle soup ($9) was chewier than I’d like and not particularly well-seasoned, while pork ribs were more tender but still lacking proper seasoning. But these are just complements for the house-made noodles and meaty broths.

If you’re not in a soup mood, explore the sauce noodle section, where dan-dan ($8) awaits. Traditionally spicy, this pork-filled dish isn’t particularly hot, just appetizing. The chicken chow mein ($8), best ordered with knife-shaven noodles, is rife with caramelization and smokiness, having been fried in a wok.

Appetizers tend to wander a bit. Cucumber salad ($5), comprised of cucumber sticks adorned with a flavorful sesame sauce, is simple and effective. A little heartier but no less modern are the beef pancakes ($5.50), more like compressed, steamed buns. Do beware of the seething hot liquid lurking within, akin to xiao long bao. You’ll shoot your eye out! The best app is the (not-so-spicy) spicy wonton ($5.50). The freshly wrapped pork wontons swim in a slightly sweet soy sauce you’ll want to pour over your noodles when the wontons are gone.

The best seats in the house are the four stools at the end of the counter surrounding the open kitchen. From there, you can witness noodle pulling and knife shaving up close. If you’re lucky, they’ll be crafting handmade wontons during your meal, too. Call it dinner with a show.

Shang Artisan Noodle 4983 W. Flamingo Road, 702-888-3292. Daily, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

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