Xian Kitchen 西安食府 in City of Industry, CA
Small restaurant that opened back in 2014, serving up regional cuisine from Shaanxi Province (陝西) in North Central China, where hand-pulled noodles are popular, as well as flavor-forward dishes incorporating the use of ingredients such as cumin, garlic, green onions, dried red chiles, and vinegar. Bordering the Sichuan Province to the north, it’s understandable why the last 2 pages of their menu feature many of the dishes you would find in Sichuan cuisine such as Mapo Tofu, Eggplant in Garlic Sauce, and Kungpao Chicken. However, the most noteworthy dishes are the rou jia mo (肉夹馍, the Chinese style hamburger of baked buns made with fermented dough), lamb pao mo (羊肉泡馍, a lamb soup with rice vermicelli and pieces of bread made from fermented dough, often described as Chinese pita bread), and qi shan ground pork noodle (岐山臊子面, made with a rich, bright red broth using red chiles and vinegar. Noodles, bean curd, egg, and green onions were featured in this noodle soup.)
The most of the dishes we ordered were delicious and quite distinct in flavor. Popular with our table were the lamb pao mo, rou jia mo, and the qi shan ground pork noodles. Quite a hearty dish was the Big Plate Chicken, which is a Uyghur dish (Xinjiang being not too far west of Shaanxi) made of hand pulled noodles, sautéed chicken, fried potatoes, bell peppers, onions, garlic and cumin. The dish was so big, it can easily feed up to 5 on its own. Even a simple dish as stir fried cabbage with dried red chiles and black vinegar came out to be very flavorful.
Unfortunately, dumplings were the weakest part of the meal. Though they’re popular in Southern and Northeastern China, the ones offered here were just not well seasoned at all. Quite bland.
Service is here is “no frills” and may come across rude and flippant, but that’s how most Chinese restaurants are that don’t specifically cater to a Western audience.
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