red moon noodle house / clairemont – san diego, ca
Red Moon Noodle House has been around since last year. A few bloggers have made the rounds here, but it wasn’t until I saw on Convoy Conquest that there was a “secret” menu item that I felt a strong urge to visit.
Red Moon Noodle House started having lunch hours during weekdays in mid-January so this place got tossed into the Friday lunch rotation with my co-workers. Little did I know just how terrible parking would be – the lot that Red Moon is in is one of the smallest and packed lots I’ve seen! We made due though, parking a bit away from Convoy and walking over for lunch time goodness.
[pan fried noodles – $8.50]
Each of us ordered one dish (well… I ordered two, but we’ll get to that) for us to all share. Matt choose the pan fried noodles – you can get this either “assorted” or “shrimp” – this was assorted which just means you get chicken, pork, beef and shrimp – and of course, they’re pretty much all hidden from view here.
The noodles stayed nice and crisp on the bottom with the veggies and meats soaked up the sauce. The veggies were nice and crisp (which is how I like them done) and the sauce had a nice, though a little mild, flavor to it. We all liked it!
[singapore style noodles – $8.50]
I showed Lauren a photo of these noodles before we came and she agreed we had to order this. She nicknamed it the “egg igloo” dish, which I thought was really amusing. I remember thinking “why didn’t anyone take a photo of the side?” which I made sure to do:
[close up of singapore style noodles]
The egg is a thin layer on top of the rice noodles which are flavored with curry. There’s a mixture of sliced veggies and assorted meats (again, all meats + shrimp are present here). The curry gives the dish such an interesting aroma and a different flavor than what I’ve had before. We all cut into this like it was a cake and took out little portions. Very good spice and flavor combination with just the right amount of veggies and meats.
This is the “secret” menu item that I asked for – soup dumplings (or, xiao long bao)! I don’t remember how much they cost exactly – I think in the $6 range? You can ask for soup dumplings – which is what I did, since I’m sure I would mess it up if I tried to pronounce xiao long bao…
[spoonful of soup dumplings]
We were given soups and he explained how to eat the dumplings to my co-workers and I. No one’s ever given me spoons for them before, so I thought that was a sweet idea. I scooped one onto my spoon and bit the top off so slurp off the soup inside.
These dumplings were really full of the pork filling (maybe a little too much filling) and not as much soup as I would have liked. They were also a little colder than I would have liked, too – but I can understand not serving them pipping hot since someone who hasn’t eaten them before might burn themselves… but I do like them more when very hot (even if I have to wait a little bit to eat them).
Overall I liked them, but I’ve had better ones up in OC and LA – but, they’re good by “San Diego” standards (as in, you can’t get them in very many places).
[crispy garlic chicken – $8.95]
David choose the Crispy Garlic Chicken for us to share – there was a little bit of show for this one! A hot plate was brought out with nothing on it and placed at our table. Then the chicken (which looked like cut up katsu chicken to me) was poured on and then the sauce and veggies were poured on next, resulting in a steamy, sizzling concoction (can you see all the steam that rose up?).
This has a nice assortment of some of my favorite veggies (mushrooms, snow peas) in a garlic sauce. It says it’s a spicy dish, but it didn’t really taste very spicy to me – which is probably in my favor. The chicken managed to stay nice and crisp since the sauce was poured on at the last minute and I was able to get some before it had time to soften. The sauce was delicious as well – a good garlicky base, but not too overpowering or strong.
[sweet & pungent chicken – $8.95]
Lauren choose our last dish for lunch – which was the Sweet & Pungent Chicken. Truly, when it was set down it made my nose crinkle just a tad from the smell which had a bit of a vinegary smell wafting off of it. I was fearful that it would be too vinegary, but my fears were unwarranted since it tasted a lot like sweet & sour chicken. There was enough sweetness to balance the dish as a whole and the flavors married together very well. The chicken is fried in a very light batter (maybe just cornstarch?) so it had a light crispness without the heavy coating that you would usually associate with a sweet & sour dish. I was surprised by this one – and ended up liking it quite a bit!
I thought we had ordered way too much food – but I underestimated the hunger and stomach depth of my co-workers (woo, Matt and David). In the end all we had left were a few pieces of broccoli – we definitely had our fill of broccoli that day and we were not saddened to have to leave a few stray pieces behind.
Red Moon Noodle House
4646 Convoy St.
San Diego, CA 92111