Location: 301 W Valley Blvd #114, San Gabriel, CA 91776
Date: August 9, 2017 and January 27, 2019 and August 20, 2022
Cuisine: Szechuan Chinese
Rating: Salty but good
Mian is the Szechuan noodle outpost from the people who run Chengdu Taste, which is one of the SGV’s original Szechuan places and pretty darn good.
It’s located in the minimall with Tasty Dining and Mei Long Village. And this fact led us to eat not one lunch but two, hitting up both Mian and J&J separated by a one hour bargain foot massage — all in the same minimall!
Mian has a superficial level of style — although if the entire build out cost more than $30,000 I’ll eat 5 bowls of noodles. Still, instead of the hideous white drop ceiling there is an ugly black drop ceiling.
Slightly fermented spicy cabbage adorn the table — like Szechuan kimchee.
And they serve sweet mung bean tea.
I’m not sure I’ve had this tea before, and boy is it ugly to look at, but it goes with the food.
The same Mao era canteen mug is home to this delicious egg custard with ground pork (8/17 and 1/27/19 and 8/20/22). One of those delicate fluffy egg custards covered in savory ground pork. Yum! I really enjoy the texture (and taste) of this kind of custard and with the pork was fabulous.
Zoom in on the custard.
Beef in chili sauce (1/27/19 and 8/20/22). Quite spicy, dry, and nice.
Sweet and sour pork wontons (earlier and 8/20/22). The sauce was that spicy/tangy Szechuan sauce I like, and the noodles and pork filling excellent, however the whole thing was a touch too salty.
All mixed up for better coverage.
Szechuan Cold Noodles (1/27/19 and 8/20/22).
You mix up the above cold noodles and eat. These were superlative. Nice noodle texture, good weight, and this scrumptious tangy chili sauce. Loved them. I adore when the acid balance is right and these really had it down. A bit of nuttiness, but not nearly as nutty or heavy as a dan dan — different, but great.
Extra side of minced pork to mix into the noodles.
Chengdu Zajiang noodles with fried egg and pork. This is the house specialty, with and without egg, with and without some kind of gut busting Chengdu bean.
Here it is mixed up. The noodles themselves were perfect and the meat was delicious. The overall effect was excellent. I think these are a top version of this particular noodle variety. I’m a little partial to great dan dan mien as that has a more complex nutty flavor, but I certainly wouldn’t kick these out of bed.
Overall, Mian has a very simple menu. There are 4 types of the same wontons, about 6 types fo the Zajiang noodles, and not too much else, so it’s pretty much a great spot for a tasty bowl of Chengdu noodles, not a whole Szechuan meal (you could go to Chengdu Taste or one of the many other great Szechuan places for that). The things they do make, however, are quite good.