china mama / las vegas, nv
I got two more Vegas posts left in me! Actually, three, but Jake is supposed to write the other one since it’s basically his whole experience and not really mine. But that’s for the future (are you curious yet?). For now… let’s peek at more Chinese food!
I always want to eat things I can’t get at home and excellent Chinese food is something that is seriously lacking in San Diego. I didn’t even realize until recently that Las Vegas even had a Chinatown, so… there you go. There is so much more to Vegas than the Strip, I’m telling you!
We went to Chinatown to go to this spot called China Mama. It was in a little strip mall filled with dozens of other Asian restaurants and reminded me so much of Convoy (including circling around trying to find a place to park).
Jake makes me laugh! He’s only pretending to be grumpy.
We had to wait for awhile to get seated, but I didn’t really mind. The restaurant was maybe 1/3 full but there seemed to be only two waitresses. I picked a corner booth that had plenty of light.
The menu was like a book with so many pages of items! No descriptions, either. Just pick what sounds good. At the very end of the menu, they put a bunch of more Americanized dishes. I skipped those. Funny how THAT section had no header (like Vegetable). Here are links to the rest of the menu: Page 1, Pages 2-3, Pages 4-5, Pages 6-7, Pages 8-9
[beef roll / $9.50]
Beef Roll! Yeah, I’ve this plenty of times at other places but I can’t resist a good beef roll. The tortilla-like pancake-ish roll had wonderful blistered edges. It was really packed full of beef with bits of onions and green onion. It was like a really, extra meaty burrito with flavorful spiced beef. It wasn’t served with any kind of sauce, but I didn’t really mind. It didn’t really need anything else to go with it. Jake thought this was the best version he’s ever had. I’m not sure if it the bestest ever, but I have to admit it was very, very good. I loved the flavor of the beef with the bits of onions mixed in.
[noodles with sesame sauce / $8.99]
I was really craving noodles and I stared at the noodle page (first page!) for quite a while before deciding on some simple sesame noodles. The noodle dishes all come with thin noodles, but you have the option to switch out the thin noodles for hand pulled wide noodles, cat eared shaped pasta (!!!), or crystal noodles. There is no extra fee to switch noodles. I was really curious about the “cat eared” shaped pasta but hand pulled wide noodles sounded too good to pass up.
I’m glad I didn’t pass them up because oh-my-holy-goodness were these GOOD. The noodles had the perfect thickness and a wonderful mouthfeel. They were al dente and chewy and incredibly luscious. The simple sesame sauce gave the noodles a slight peanut butter-ish flavor. The onions thrown in made it a perfect dish for me. I wish I could eat this every day!
[pan fried pork buns / $9.50]
Okay, so, these were really the reason I wanted to come. Pork buns! And not just any pork buns…
Ohhhh, nooooooo. PAN FRIED. PORK BUNS. OH MY GOD. Look at this golden brown bottom! om nom nom nom nom!
These little beauties are filled with nuggets of pork and onions. The buns on top were so light and fluffy! They were perfectly steamed and the texture was so lovely – it was almost like a flaky steamed biscuit. The bottoms were perfectly fried to achieve a nice, crisp, crunchy, golden delicious bottom. A lot of places I’ve been to seem to only barely fry the bottom so I was extremely excited to see how rich and golden brown these were. They did not disappoint and were very close to the first fried pork buns I ever tried at this C-rated restaurant in Los Angeles called Noodle House oh so long ago (sadly closed now).
They also have an 8 piece pork bun special and I think if you order those, you get the pretty lacy presentation as seen in this photo from Yelpy-Yelp. I got the plainer six piece version, but I’m okay with that.
I either want a teleporter so I can come here again and again or I want someone to transport this whole restaurant to San Diego immediately! Come on technology, hurry up! I guess for now I’ll just have to drive to Vegas again for this luscious meal.
China Mama (FB link)
3420 S Jones Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89146