38: Hand-Pulled Noodles from China Magic Noodle House
You can easily spot the novice diner at this unassuming Chinese eatery in Chandler. He or she is sitting with his or her back to the large kitchen window. This is where the "magic" happens at China Magic Noodle House.
During your time at China Magic, chefs will almost certainly be putting dough through stretching, flinging, and twisting, all in an eye-catching effort to produce hand-pulled noodles. The restaurant makes them in the style of the Lanzhou region of northwestern China. You'll want to watch. It's okay for a couple to sit on the same side of the table in order to better take it all in.
You'll quickly receive a colorful menu, prompting you to make your first decision: Which type of hand-pulled noodles do you prefer? There are five choices: narrow flat, thick, regular, wide flat, and shave. Next, the menu of approximately 57 items brings more choosing. You'll likely hone in on one of three sections: noodles, noodle in soup, or stir-fried noodles.
Each tug you take of the noodle mound creates a puff of steam. The beef adds the chewy protein you need in tandem with the smooth yet flavorful noodles. Green onion provides texture. Of course, there's a caddy of spicy condiments to turn up the heat if you so choose. You'll continue to lean ever closer to your dish as you work down the hill of cream-colored noodles, which is fine, because the oyster sauce emits an unforgettable scent of onion, garlic, and, of course, oyster.
China Magic Noodle House works the neck, but not the wallet. Most dishes are under $10.
China Magic Noodle House. 2015 North Dobson Road, #2, Chandler; 480-786-8002.
Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; closed Monday.
The Essentials so far:
50: Soul food platter at Lo-Lo's Chicken & Waffles
49: The Bear at Short Leash Hot Dogs + Rollover Doughnuts
48: Grilled squid and other specialties at Andreoli Italian Grocer
47: I-10 Nachos at Cocina 10
46: Coffee made from ROC2 beans
45: The Haturo Sub Sandwich at Cheese 'n Stuff
44: Zookz at Zookz
43: Jade Red Chicken at Chino Bandido
42: Tasting menu at Quiessence at The Farm
41: Single-origin Papua New Guinea Bar at Zak's Chocolate
40: Green chile at Casa Reynoso
39: Brûlée burger from Paradise Valley Burger Company
38. Hand-pulled noodles from China Magic Noodle House