The sesame sauce is a family secret
Cold sesame noodles are a popular order at Asian restaurants, particularly in hot weather. At Mandarette, you'll see big white bowls of sesame noodles at tables all around the room. The dish consists of egg noodles in a small puddle of luscious sesame sauce (a family secret), covered with a layer of shredded chicken, then a layer of shredded cucumbers. (Cold sesame noodles, $8.95.)
Mandarette, 8386 Beverly Blvd., West Hollywood, (323) 655-6115.
Poached prawns in his game
Chef Yujean Kang has his own recipe for cold sesame noodles. He dresses plain noodles with garlic, light soy sauce, vinegar, hot mustard and sesame paste. ("The flavor's all in the authentic sesame paste," Kang says.) Chile oil goes on top of the noodles, followed by poached prawns, shredded cucumber and a light sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds. (Cold sesame noodles, $8.)
Yujean Kang's, 67 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, (626) 585-0855.
A classic dish tossed for you at the table
Twirl your fork or chopsticks in Chi Dynasty's cold peanut noodles and put a bite in your mouth: pure satisfaction. This classic dish combines egg noodles with a sauce made of peanut butter, vinegar, hot mustard, soy sauce and sesame oil with a pinch of sugar. The noodles are layered with cucumbers and shredded chicken breast, presented on a platter and then tossed for you at the table. (Cold peanut noodles, $6.75.)
Chi Dynasty, 2112 Hillhurst Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 667-3388.
A cold side of noodles with spicy bite
Zen Grill makes a cold side of noodles that has a bit of spicy bite. Get an order to share with two or three friends. The egg noodles are tossed with peanut butter, garlic, ginger, chile paste, vinegar, soy sauce and sesame oil until each
noodle is nicely coated. Then they're garnished with crushed roasted
peanuts, crisp wontons and the tiny delicate Japanese sprouts called kaiware. (Cold spicy peanut noodles, $4.25.)
Zen Grill, 9111 W. Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills, (310) 278-7773; 8432 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, (323) 655-9991.
-- Jessica Strand