I’m going to paraphrase a quote from The Social Network here: you know what’s better than noodles? Hand-pulled noodles.
There’s something about the addictively chewy texture of freshly-made noodles that really can’t be beat.
That’s not to mention the novelty of seeing them get made, which is on full display at Magic Noodle: stretching the dough, slamming it on the table, more stretching, more slamming, and the final, impressive act of noodlification. The dough is pulled, folded over, and then pulled again and again, until a fat lump of dough has been turned into one long noodle strand, seemingly by magic.
This makes hand-pulled noodles impossible to eat daintily; because you’re essentially dealing with one absurdly long noodle bunched up in a bowl, the only thing you can do is bring a bunch of noodles to your face, cram as much as you can into your mouth, and then bite down to allow the rest to fall back into the bowl. It’s a mess, but a delicious mess.
I ordered the House Special Hand Pulled Noodles, which featured a tasty, not overly salty broth (which was made even better when kicked up with the provided chili oil), a really generous amount of meat (a couple of different cuts of beef — both quite tender — as well as some tripe), cilantro and green onion, and a fried egg (which was way overcooked and easily the weak spot of the bowl).
And of course, those amazingly chewy noodles. You can tell they’re made by hand because they’re not quite uniformly thick throughout, which only adds to their unique texture and intensifies their appeal.
Expect to wait, too; I came on a Friday night, and the wait was long enough to necessitate one of those pagers that buzzes and lights up when your table is ready, like at a chain restaurant. I think it was about a twenty minute wait, which seems like a long time until you get your first taste of those noodles.