Go eat this immediately. These buffoons didn’t pass health inspection before opening. And they were shut down for almost a week. Even worse, they were shut down one day after my first visit Mid-July. Geniuses dude. Rowland Heights may seem like Chengdu, but what kinda ballsy Mama has the gall to run a restaurant for over a month without a health inspection? A mom from Sichuan, apparently.

The kicker: this place is good. It’s really really good: thickset knife cut noodles in fierce broth that body checks any kara miso ramen; belligerent wontons marinated in that trifecta sweet/sour/spice, cauldrons of fish, or offals, simmering in Sichuan soup bases, beautifully fried chitlin, spicy sausages that will make Calabrian sausages cry “uncle”.

The menu is sparse, the English translation bordering piss. What else is new? Having sold the Number 1 Noodle House in the rather expensive YES Plaza, Chuan Mother opted for the perpetually under-performing HK plaza 2 blocks west of her old locale. Despite the new space, new signage, prices remain reasonable except for the impoverished. 3 “course” meals here can be sorted for $15 per person, inclusive of tip / tax. A dandy way to navigate the menu is to get an cold deli plate to start (the spicy Chinese sausages are supremely addicting), share an ala carte dish (the dried peppers fried chitlin is even tastier than those found at JTYH, and tastes like chicken) along with a bowl of hearty noodles, finish off with a pile of shaved ice (check the walls for odd combos named after Snow White and Shrek).

The internet has complained of bad service, and bad A/C, but honey badger don’t care. The noodles are thick, bordering rudimentary. The broth uses 6 spices instead of 5. The beef isn’t brisket/braised short rib tender, but offers just the right amount of toothiness. Together, the 3 elements aggregate for a bowl of punchy beef noodle soup supremacy. It is priced a bit higher than the rest of the neighborhood, but it’s cheaper than Malan. Do not forget to request the gratis Northern style spicy pickled cabbage and the SSS (sweet/salty/spicy) peanuts. The best stuff is sometimes free.

Chuan Ma Noodle House
18438 Colima Road #31
Rowland Heights, CA 91748
Chuan Ma Noodle House on Urbanspoon



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  • I’m torn. Eat this now and shut down for health code violations. That’s fucking disgusting. They could have a toilet overflowing to a kitchen drain for all I know.

  • Is this the place you were talking about in your Sweethome Grill post?

  • sinosoul

    Yes it is. Chuan Ma kinda rocks, but I’m only going for the noodles. The shared hotpots are all $20.

  • sinosoul

    Clarification: they weren’t shut down for health code violations. Yet. They were shut down for not having a health permit, at all.

    They’ve since applied and should have been inspected already. That said, I’d wait for the bebe to pop-out before risking. God knows what kinda toxins vermins carry.

  • fangstar

    Not seeing a ’email this article’ button. hook a brother up.

  • sinosoul

    It’s there. Third button from the left, at the bottom of the post.Thanks for commenting/(attempting to) sharing!

  • Bigmouth

    They’re at a B (for Bigmouth) now. Got dinged for various food handling issues. No mention of rodents.

  • Bigmouth

    That. Looks. Outstanding. BTW, where is you favorite Sichuan place in LA? Would this be it?

  • Pink Foodie

    Looks amazing! Will need to drive out there ASAP!

  • sinosoul

    Still default to Xiang Wei Lou for Sichuan/Hunanese. However, Chuan Ma is my favorite noodle house right now, especially because the apps are so damned fantastic.

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