We headed to Far East Plaza early on Saturday for an early lunch, as in 11am early. There’s so many places opening shop in this plaza that I had to come back to check it out. This time it was to try out a Taiwanese restaurant recommend by a friend, Lao Tao. Yes! I’m so happy that I don’t have to drive into San Gabriel Valley to satisfy my Taiwanese craving. The shop is located upstairs on the second floor of the plaza. It’s pretty easy to find.
It’s a casual spot. Order, take your number, and pick a seat. Your food and drinks will be brought out to you while your chopsticks, forks, and napkins, well, you grab those yourself. No stress in that. The place feels like the local shops you run across in Taipei, unpretentious and very inviting. We chatted with the staff for a bit and picked our seats. Plenty to choose from.
The food came out quick. Of course, no one else was there. Still, glad to get our food quickly so we could start our day. The spicy foods we happen to pick used Sichuan peppercorns. The kind that numbs your mouth. Although, it’s not over the top to the point you can’t taste the food. I’m so happy about that. It let me taste the ingredients and daydream about being back in Taiwan. I think I’ll be back here again. The pork belly rice is on my next list.
727 N Broadway #207
Los Angeles, CA 90012
+1 (213) 372-5318
Verdict: A place to try if you know your Taiwanese foods and need a fix, a good fix.
When you get in your got tables to the left and righ. Go up to the counter to see the menu and order. Off to the right you'll see where to grab your place setting. As for water, you'll need to ask the guy behind the counter.
Seating here are meant for small groups, but you can probably combine tables for larger groups. You may have to do it yourself since it follows a self service model. Just check in with the neighboring tables. Good thing we came early.
For those in need of a little Taiwanese nostalgia, they stock cans of apple soda. All you really need now is the hot humid weather.
The pork wontons in ma la chili oil started off our meal. It was a good indicator to the spice levels we were about to endure. It's spicy enough for those expecting a lot of heat. And the pork wontons flavors still came through.
Beef shank noodle soup with a bone marrow broth. Though, there wasn't too much broth in the bowl, which is okay I guess. These were served in a paper bowl. I imagined they wouldn't hold up to full on hot broth. Anyways, back to the lovely bowl. It's made of of the tender beef shank, diced vegetables (I believe bot choy), pickled mustard greens, diced tomatoes, cilantro, and green onions. I didn't care for the diced tomatoes, but really wanted to try their Oolong infused tea egg which I added. Overall, a tasty bowl and if it's not hot enough, you can upgrade the heat level. I played it safe. What? It's my first time here.
$12.00 USD (+2.00 for the egg)
Buried underneath those toppings are the wonderful curly and chewy noodles. Don't be fooled by the size of the bowl. This stuff is pretty filling.