Pork-Free Chinese language Meals Attracts Each Jews and Muslims

Prepare dinner at Inexperienced China Grill hand pulls noodles behind a protecting window. (SDJW picture)

By Sandi Masori

Sandi Masori

SAN DIEGO — I like exploring the Asian eating places within the Convoy space, however one of many issues that’s all the time a problem is navigating the pork dishes which might be so prevalent in Asian meals and attempting to get substitutions for it.  So you possibly can think about how excited I used to be once I by chance wandered into Inexperienced China Grill and after being entranced by the dwell noodle pulling realized that it featured all Halal meat.  Meaning no pork on the menu- I might eat something! Now for many who hold kosher, clearly this restaurant gained’t give you the results you want.  However for many who like me hold “kosher fashion” or draw a hard-line on pig, this can be a dream come true.

The restaurant within the nook of a strip mall at Convoy and Mercury has two names: China Inexperienced Grill and Lanzhou Noodles.  Lanzhou is the province in Northwestern China that the proprietor James Tian comes from.  It’s additionally a Uyghur space, therefore the halal meals.

The restaurant structure is easy, wanting like many quick causal eating places. I used to be joyful to see that all through our time within the restaurant, all different visitors each for dining-in and take-out spoke Chinese language. That’s one thing I search for in genuine meals. The factor that actually units it other than different eating places is the massive window looming into the kitchen the place you possibly can watch them hand-pull the noodles.  It’s hypnotic to observe because the dough is lower into smaller items after which the noodle grasp stretches the dough into a protracted, skinny noodle, which is then loosely doubled over and stretched once more in order that the only noodle turns into two after which 4 after which eight after which sixteen and so forth and so forth till they’ve it precisely the thickness that they’re on the lookout for in keeping with what dish is being ready.

Alternatives at Inexperienced China Grill included from left braised beef noodle soup, bitter cabbage beef pancakes, and cumin lamb fried noodles (SDJW picture)

We ordered three dishes that have been recommended by the waitress; braised beef noodle soup, bitter cabbage beef pancake, and the cumin lamb fried noodles.  The flavors aren’t what you may consider in case you’re a fan of American Chinese language meals as they’re extra conventional and in addition come from the Northwest area.  They use a whole lot of cumin, so there’s a taste which may remind you a bit of some Center Japanese meals, however can be very totally different.

The meat within the noodle soup was flavorful and tender, falling aside as quickly as you chunk into it.  The noodles themselves are a bit thick and bouncy with a strong chunk and mouthfeel.  It’s noticeably extra bouncy than Italian pasta, ramen or udon.  The artwork of noodles in China is one thing that individuals are identified for and might construct reputations on.  And Inexperienced China Grill’s Tian is a grasp at it.

The bitter cabbage pancake is a sort of roll or what we in California may consider as a lower burrito of types.  It begins with the Chinese language pancake after which beef and greens are rolled into it after which it’s lower into items. The roll has a pleasant crunchiness to the surface with a pleasing chewy texture upon taking a chunk.  It didn’t want any further sauces.

The final dish was the cumin lamb fried noodles.  This seems like what you may consider whenever you consider chow mein, however the taste may be very totally different.  The lamb was ready in skinny small slices and was tender and filled with taste.  Once more the noodles have been bouncy and agency with the proper mixture of chewiness and chunk.

I used to be actually curious how San Diego was so fortunate to get such an attention-grabbing restaurant so I briefly chatted with the co-owners James Tian and Chris Wang.  They advised me that James has been a chef his complete life and needed to open a restaurant, however they didn’t know what sort of restaurant to open.  So round 9 years in the past they began wanting round San Diego and doing their analysis, they usually realized that no one was making hand-pulled noodles right here.  And so, eight years in the past they opened.

We loved each dish that we tried and undoubtedly will add it to the rotation to return once more.  They’re open for lunch and dinner day by day besides Tuesday when they’re closed.


Sandi Masori is a meals and theater reviewer for San Diego Jewish World.  When she’s not masking meals or theater, she helps authors self-publish, hangs out together with her youngsters, and searches for the very best sushi on the town.

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