Judging by the room filled with Asian diners, Qin West must have good authentic Chinese food. This Westwood restaurant would be at home in the San Gabriel Valley – right down to the no frills decor and indifferent service. Luckily the food is tasty and the prices reasonable (by Westside standards) to keep a loyal following amongst the local Chinese community.
Qin West specializes in Shaanxi/Guilin cuisine, known for their spicy dishes. Stepping in to the restaurant, you’ll see that almost all the diners are Asian, specifically Chinese, with bowls of noodles and the occasional tasty pork sandwich bun in front of them. Most of the noodles can be ordered in varying levels of spiciness – not spicy/less spicy/medium spicy/spicy.
The Liang Pi features bean sprouts, cucumbers, peanuts and handmade flat noodles. The noodles are great, bathed in chili oil, with a spiciness that is tempered by the coolness of the cucumbers.
The Saozi noodles, either dry or in soup, consist of a diced pork, potato and tofu mixture along with greens and a “high quality noodle.” The broth was terrific, with a complexity of flavors that made me want to drink the entire contents of the bowl. However, even though I ordered mine less spicy, the noodles came with a mound of chili oil which sunk into the broth, infusing it with its spiciness. I only had one glass of water which I had quickly drained and knew the chances of getting it refilled were pretty hopeless, so I refrained from drinking all of the broth.
During dinner, the restaurant does brisk business, completely overwhelming the two people that work the front of the restaurant. When I was there, there was a tall stack of beverages sitting in front of the counter, patiently waiting to get put away. The poor staff can barely keep up with cleaning the recently vacated tables to seat new customers. Once you’ve ordered, the only time either one will come by your table will be to bring you your food. To settle your bill, you’ll have to go up to the counter, which hopefully won’t have stacks of drinks blocking your way, to get the check and pay.
There are a few rice dishes on the menu as well, but the big attraction are those spicy noodles. If you have a low threshold for spiciness, order accordingly – and maybe order an extra water or another beverage to help quench the fire.
Location – 1767 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles 90024. Additional location in Chinatown.
Website – http://www.qinwestchinesecuisine.com/#a-hidden-noodle-house
Kid-Friendly – Yes
Kid’s Menu – No
Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly – Maybe? I’m not sure if the Liang Pi is vegetarian. I could have asked but my Chinese isn’t good and Chinese have a tendency to say things are vegetarian even if they have chicken stock.
Gluten-Free Options – Yes, they have rice dishes.