Tank Noodle / Tank Restaurant

March 16 2006 - 12:01 PM

Tank Noodle is held in wide regard. I’ve been past it many, many times so last weekend, since we were in the neighborhood, we went for lunch.

It’s a pretty big place that was bustling, even at 2:30. We ended up sitting at a large round table with another group of 3 ladies. Most of the clientele is Asian and the menu, while extensive, is largely focused on soup. Pho is the big thing on Argyle. It’s apparently becoming something of a fast food item in California. I enjoy it from time to time but also given the likely hood of finding a chunk of tripe or many chunks of beef fat I’m not completely nuts for it. But they have many many varieties at Tank of Pho or other soups. I got a big bowl of Chao, a rice congee soup and we ordered a chicken and noodle dish that was NOT soup.

But first we got a shrimp cake appetizer, bang cong, that arrived looking like a corn muffin with a shrimp baked into the top. If it was easier to peel I would have liked it more. As it was, it was quite greasy and the chunks of pork inside were a surprise. The menu didn’t mention them. The mung beans inside were very tasty. It came with a sweet and sour sauce that had a fish sauce base to it. I really found it strange. It’s just not my thing. It wasn’t bad but I’ll just say that I’m not entirely a "fish sauce guy"


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My Chao Ga arrived hot and fortunately smaller than the enormous bowls of Pho that the three ladies ordered. It’s reminiscent of that scene in "So I Married an Axe Murderer" where Mike Meyers gets the "large" cappuccino. The Chao was loaded with rice and chicken and the accompanying plate sported bean sprouts and jalapenos and some mint. It’s just too much food. It’s the Cheesecake Factory for the neighborhood… without the calories, sugar, fat, etc. The chao was spicy and good. I could have spent the entire afternoon with it.

The stir fried rice noodles with chicken was also good. The creamy (coconut? not-dairy) sauce had the unmistakable flavor of sesame seed oil and the chicken was tender. The mixed veggies were worked into the sauce well.

I’m definitely going back. The sheer size of the menu and the simplicity of its arrangement allows for anyone to get real specific with what they want. No tripe in your bowl? No problem. It’s easier to get through an order than I thought.

Tank Restaurant (or)
Tank Noodle
4953-55 N. Broadway
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