The past few times I've had visitors from the Pacific Northwest visiting Los Angeles, I've made sure to take a long detour out to Rosemead to have them visit JTYH. This restaurant is indicative of the bounty of regional Chinese cuisine available here in LA. Yes, it's a bit out-of-the-way, but the remote nature of the restaurant only adds to the legend: no one accidentally ends up at JTYH.
The initial draw for me was the noodles, but what keeps me coming back is actually the 牛肉卷饼 niú ròu juǎn bǐng, listed on the menu as "pancake with beef". It's a rolled crepe filled with sliced brisket, served with scallions, cilantro, cucumber and a hoisin-like sauce. It's a bit more vegetal than the rendition at 101 Noodle Express, and is a welcome improvement. And everytime I take a Portlander or Seattleite to JTYH, I always mention how I couldn't find any dish remotely like this in the Pacific Northwest (a topic I've already discussed).
niú ròu miàn
beef noodle soup
But again, the initial draw here to JTYH was the noodles. On the hunt for a great bowl of beef noodle soup, essentially the Chinese equivalent of Vietnamese pho. This restaurant came up time and time again as a recommendation, and those recommendations did not fail me. If anything, it managed to exceed the hype, if such a thing is possible in this day and age.
While the broth is undoubtedly delicious, the star is the noodle. Hand-made and shaved off of the dough ball to order, the result is a dense and toothsome noodle that is unlike any other.
yáng ròu pào miàn
stewed lamb with
In subsequent visits, I've come to prefer the lamb broth over the beef. The big, familiar gamey flavor of lamb is paradoxically light, which is good because the noodles, once again the star, balances the bowl perfectly. And if opting for pork instead, there's always the 貓耳朵 cat ear noodles (so named for its shape) served with mu shu pork.
māo ěr duǒ
"cat ear" noodles
Yes, Rosemead is beyond the normal traveling orbit of most Angelenos, but the knife-cut noodles are pretty special and definitely worth the trip.