|Gourmet Noodle House's version of Chongqing Xiao Mian|
My favorite SF noodle houses of recent vintage are Chonqing Xiao Mian, which flies the flag of Chongqing's signature dish of the same name high, and Gourmet Noodle House, which is so thoroughly Shanghainese it would fly the flag of Yellow Croaker Noodle Soup if it had a flag. It never occurred to me that the two noodle cultures would sometimes intersect, so it came as a surprise to me when I headed to Gourmet Noodle House to recalibrate my tastebuds for an upcoming trip to Shanghai and found that Chongqing xiao mian (the dish) had been added to the menu.
Since Gourmet Noodle House only offered the plain version of Chonqing xiao mian (no toppings other than garnish), I added a side order of malantou (a finely chopped mix of dry tofu and the tart, slightly bitter herb-like vegetable know as Indian Aster). This cold salad dish made my meal undeniably Shanghinese, as well as adding the desired protein to my early dinner. It was as pleasing a version of the dish as I've found.
Where slurped: Gourmet Noodle House, 3751 Geary Blvd. at 2nd Ave., San Francisco