Food

Rise of the machine at Shanxi Noodle House

With the minimum raise going up to ten bucks an hour, this is a convenient time for the machines to begin their revolution. If rumors about a robot working at Shangxi Noodle House were true, could this could be the moment when Skynet lauches Judgement Day?

Before its hi-tech remodel, Shanxi Noodle House had boasted hand-shaved noodles. Chefs and foodies more qualified than me will describe how “springy,” “chewy,” or “resilient” a noodle can be. They know the optimal type of pasta to use for a certain sauce or soup. But Fettuccine, linguine, e-mein, and yee mein are all the same to me. Who cares, as long as it tastes good?

We ordered chow mein with black pepper sauce that wa deliciously silky, but come on. Maybe a little more meat next time? We also got some pot stickers that were bound together by a thin layer of flaky mesh–kind of like a plate of spider web. Not bad.

The leather bound menu describes the history, art, and culture of China’s Shanxi region rather elaborately, and the dishes listed should make Din Tai Fung afraid. Too bad more than half the listings were unavailable to order! But that happens at a newly opened restaurant. Less forgivable were our issues with the uninterested servers and inadequate service. There was no explanations, apologies, or sense of urgency.

But no matter how chaotic the kitchen was or apprehensive the wait staff seemed, the metal man kept shaving blocks of dough into thin noodles with a stoic expression and without complaint. Every 15 minutes, his bladed arm whirled and fresh noodles fell into a vat of boiling water. The robot did its job and did it well.

Maybe the restaurant was having a bad day or perhaps chaos is the norm. Either way, employees of the Shanxi Noodle House should watch their backs. If that robot has any kind of pre-programmed ambition, its next job could be theirs.

Shanxi Noodle House
18219 Gale Ave.
City of Industry

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