Taking a break from my long Chicago posts to review a place Jake and I went to last weekend called Tasty Noodle House. My co-worker, Emily, has brought the pork buns from Tasty Noodle House back to work for sampling and I quite enjoyed them. I wanted to try them fresh! We went just after opening (11AM) last Sunday morning and we were able to get seated right away. When we left, a line had formed outside.
Jake sporting his new Cubs hat. People think he’s a Cubs fan because he wears the hat. But he’s not. He just really likes baseball hats.
The don’t have boba at Tasty Noodle House but we ordered some milk teas anyway. Jake got the Taro Milk Tea [$3.99] and I got just a regular Milk Tea [$3.75]. The taro tasted really watered down. Like they made a big vat of it and added extra water. It barely had any flavor to it. My milk tea had more flavor in comparison, but the flavor was also on the weaker side.
I almost ordered the Ginger Scallion Beef with Noodles but Jake pointed out the House Noodles with Sesame Sauce [$7.99] and in a snap decision I decided to get that instead. I love sesame noodles. I’ve had a bunch of different versions and have made my own version at home so I had certain expectations for the dish.
This dish didn’t fulfill them.
As soon as it was placed before me my heart sank a little. There was a serious lack of sauce and a bunch of other stuff on the plate that I didn’t really want. I just wanted noodles and lots of sesame sauce!
After I mixed it together I noticed that the sauce barely covered the noodles. The noodles also tasted a bit on the mushy side.
I asked the waitress for a side of sesame sauce, thinking the extra sauce would help boost this dish for me.
Our waitress returned with a small saucer of sesame oil.
Sigh. Yeah, that didn’t help. I ended up not eating the rest of the noodles and not taking it home. Fail.
Jake ordered the Orange Beef [$10.99]. This was thankfully better than my disheartening sesame noodles. The pieces of beef were in a light batter and had a crunchy exterior to them with tender pieces of beef on the inside. The orange sauce had large pieces of orange peel in it (so you really know it’s orange!) and had a mostly sweet and slightly sour profile. We both enjoyed this dish but admitted it wasn’t something we’d probably crave again. It was good – but not worthy of daydreaming and pining.
We ordered the Shanghai Grilled Pork Buns [$9.50] first, but they came out last since they take the longest to make. You get eight pieces to one order. The outside of the buns were a bit sticky and were steamy fresh.
The bottoms are pan fried to get a nice golden bottom. Funny thing was, the bottom didn’t really have a crisp mouthfeel to me. It was more sticky and gooey than anything else. One bite into the fresh buns and they pretty much fell apart. The bun dough was very moist and soft. The pork in the middle had a nice seasoning and it was a little juicy on the inside. I didn’t really like that they fell apart so easily and they didn’t taste quite the same as the ones my co-worker brought back for me to try. We didn’t finish the buns so I took a few home to enjoy for lunch. The leftovers tasted good and were a bit sturdier and did not fall apart quite as easily. Any crispness was gone though, of course. I’m kind of torn on this one since the pork and flavor were good, but the texture was lacking in the buns.
Overall Jake and I were not really impressed with Tasty Noodle House. We felt like the items all missed the mark a little bit.
Tasty Noodle House (Yelp)
4646 Convoy St.
San Diego, CA 92111