Walter Mencken 11 a.m., May 24
Noodling Around: Hủ Tiếu Nam Vang Khô from 777 Noodle House
I’ve been craving noodle soup since returning from my trip abroad. And while it seems that San Diego’s weather has been bouncing around a bit, my desire for noodle soup hasn’t abated.
777 Noodle House is run by an ethnically Chinese (Chiu Chow/Teochew) family from Cambodia. Located in a former pool hall on University Avenue, 777’s menu is quite diverse, possibly reflecting the family’s travels. One of my favorite dishes at 777 is the Ka Tieu Phnom Penh (Phnom Penh Noodles - $5.77), called Hủ Tiếu Nam Vang (Vietnamese) on the menu. I enjoy the Khô (dry) version where the noodles are briefly cooked, doused with a mild soy based sauce, served with a plate of blanched bean sprouts (and occasionally Chinese celery), and served with a bowl of pork based broth on the side. Hủ Tiếu is a tapioca (what I prefer) or a rice based noodle. I prefer the dry version since the noodles tends to overcook rather quickly. The bowl with the noodles is rather humble, two blanched shrimp, a couple of fish balls, thick sliced pork, and ground pork. It’s the bowl of broth that always gets my attention as there’s usually a good sized pork bone in the soup. While devoid of a great deal of meat, it’s great for gnawing. The broth is mildly porky, the noodles have a sticky-stretch, and the vegetables add crunch.
What’s not to like?
777 Noodle House 4686 University Avenue San Diego, CA 92105 Open Daily 8am - 9pm