>> Phnom Penh Noodle Shack | Eat the World LA

Monday, 7 January 2019

Phnom Penh Noodle Shack


Surrounded by Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand, I always found the food to be a little underwhelming when visiting Cambodia after one of these countries. Even at streetside noodle stands, somehow the full flavors and spices of the region seemed toned down by Khmer cooks. In restaurants in the United States, I have been even more unforgiving, never really giving Cambodian food much of a break.

Interestingly, Phnom Penh Noodle Shack in Long Beach is most certainly the best Cambodian food I have ever eaten, including the meals in Cambodia. Just north of Anaheim Street and the heart of Cambodia Town, this noodle shack which started as a much more modest family affair in 1985 is just the kick I needed. Now a thoroughly redesigned and modern space, the walls are still covered with photos of years past and the family and community that were all a big part of its creation.

The Phnom Penh noodles ($7.25, above) is the house special, a wonderful bowl of pork and shrimp with noodles. The pork meat comes in thin slices and ground, and also includes liver and stomach. While supplies last each day, you will receive another bowl with a large pork bone in soup (below) that you can use as desired with your choices. Noodles are served dry so that you can create your own bowl with both the broth and any number of the condiments available on every table, from housemade Sriracha-type sweet chilis to fish sauces to pickled green beans.

Suck that marrow out no matter what you do with the broth.

It will probably be impossible to go another meal here without an order of the loat cha ($8.95, below), stir-fry tear drop noodles cooked with beef and shrimp that is irresistible.

Not knowing who Mo was did not stop us from ordering Mo's special noodles ($7.25, below), another bowl full of sliced and ground pork but this time accompanied by beef balls. This can be adorned as desired as well with the bone broth and condiments.

Since the 80's, this restaurant has been known as the place to go for Cambodian breakfast as well. We have not tried this yet, but orders of one of seven rice porridges will satisfy early cravings, as well as the deep fried bread stick known as cha quai.

Rows and rows of condiments.



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