Lam Zhou Handmade Noodle

photo by Robert Menzer

At the back of a glorified hallway on the Chinatown–LES border, an employee of Lam Zhou Handmade Noodle thwaps long ribbons of dough into submission, eventually separating the lengthening putty into strands. Behind a swinging door, a cadre of cooks turns those hand-pulled beauties into an assortment of noodle soups, each bobbing with different bits of pig, cow, or fish. Take a seat at a grubby table in the dining room and try not to be put out by the fact that you’re being paid no attention by the staff. Order the basic beef noodle; the broth is lent flavor by what must be a well-cured pot: It’s rich, redolent of garlic, and fortifying, and it swims with bits of beef, sautéed greens, and, of course, those noodles, which have both weight and chew. Add chile sauce from the table if you need a sinus-cleanser along with a warm-up, and supplement your order with pungent, thin-skinned pork dumplings. Fork over the spare change you found between couch cushions, and head back out to East Broadway feeling utterly renewed.