China Noodle / Nak Kung (樂宮) in Lawrence Plaza, Santa Clara
Lawrence Plaza is one of the newest Korean food court / shopping center located in Santa Clara. It is also one of the first and largest Korean food court in Northern California, taking a cue from similar centers in L.A. area.
I like to call it “LP” Plaza since their logo actually spells out “LP”. (If you’re from Taiwan, you’ll know there’s a joke in there)
The food court area features five restaurants along with a cafe. The center also features a Paris Baguette Korean bakery and other shops.
The restaurants range from traditional Korean to fusion Korean to Korean-Japanese.
My focus today was the lone Chinese restaurant of the plaza, China Noodle / Nak Kung. Nak Kung is a new branch off of the Four Seasons (Also known as Nak Kung) restaurant that I wrote about before.
The Chao Ma Mian (炒碼麵; #2 Spicy Noodle Soup) looked red hot and tasted that way. It was much spicier than the version at the home restaurant. The seafood included a couple of large shrimps, squids and mussels. Due to the extra spiciness of the broth (probably due to jalepanos) the broth’s flavor was overpowered and the garlicky undertone did not come through as well.
The noodles, on the thinner side, did stay Q through out the meal. Due to the fact that it is a “food court” operation, the noodles here are machine pressed instead of hand-pulled like the original restaurant. (Grade: A- )
The Gan Zha Jiang Mian (乾炸醬麵) is not on the menu, but is available upon request. I always order this rather than regular Zha Jiang Mian (炸醬麵; #1 Soy Bean Paste Noodle) because I prefer its more robust flavor and due to the quick stir-fry, it is less saucy. It is more similar to the traditional Beijing style.
The sauce here was a little more oily than I would have liked. The flavor was pretty much on spot, but a bit more sweet than normal. (Grade: B+ )
Overall, both noodle dishes did not do as well as their counter parts at the original restaurant. Perhaps due to the fact that this is a “food court” atmosphere and the pace of the ordering was pretty quick. There was a continuous line of people ordering and picking up orders. The kitchen must have been very hectic.
They also have the standard Shui Jiao (水餃; #6 Dumpling) and Guo Tie (鍋貼; #5 Fried Potstickers) here as well as a couple of the most popualar entrees in Korean-Chinese restaurants, the Tang Cu Rou (糖醋肉; #12 Sweet & Sour Pork) and Gan Pong Chicken (乾烹雞; #13 Spicy Ginger Garlic Chicken)
China Noodle / Nak Kung (樂宮)3561 El Camino Real, Suite 20
Santa Clara, CA 95051