It’s been over three years since I first posted about Liang’s Kitchen, a Taiwanese-style restaurant chain specializing in beef noodle soup. You can read a more thorough discussion of Liang’s history and offerings in my initial post here.

We were never too impressed with this chain, and especially the San Diego branch, but every once in a while we’ll stop in for a visit. Mr. K was under the weather recently, so beef noodle soup seemed like a good solution.

Beef Noodle Soup with Handmade Noodles

We always order the beef noodle soup here and you can choose thin cut noodles or the handmade wide noodles. The thick and slightly curling noodles did a great job of soaking in the broth flavors and were quite chewy and flavorful.

After tasting the noodles initially, I excitingly thought that the broth had improved, since the noodles had so much flavor. Unfortunately, after I sipped the broth by itself, it tasted the same. A good beef noodle soup broth uses a lot of beef bones, stewed over several hours to develop that deep beef flavor. This broth lacked that depth and relied far too heavily on five spice powder.

Craft Pizza Company

Craft Pizza Company opened inside the UTC food court last year, attempting to elevate the food court experience with their New York-style artisan pies that use fresh, organic and local ingredients.

You might recall, I visited soon after they opened and had a pretty poor experience. I’ve read really good things about the place since then, so I wanted to return. But it was soon after our initial visit that we moved to a new neighborhood and we didn’t frequent the UTC mall as much, so it wasn’t until almost a year later that we were able to make our way back for a return visit.

Since then, the menu has expanded. In addition to pizzas and their salad bar, they also make strombolis and they serve cookies from The Cravory.

We chose to share a Combo No. 1: 3 slices of pizza of your choice and a fountain drink. We also ordered a meatball stromboli.

Margherita and Pepperoni

Here were two of our pizza slices. One bite, and I couldn’t believe the difference. I don’t think I’ve had such a 180 degree change when revisiting a restaurant. When we visited a year ago, the crust was crumbly and dry. This crust was light, thin and very crispy. I loved the crunchy and airy lightness to it.

These eggplant fries aren’t the prettiest thing to look at, but they are tasty and healthier than regular fries.

I had them once at a restaurant and loved the concept but found the deep fried version far too oily, especially since the eggplant acts like a sponge, soaking up all the grease. This baked version doesn’t have that issue. It’s got a crispy coating from the panko breadcrumbs and it makes a tasty snack.

It was the perfect balance to all the slices of chocolate cake I also ate this weekend. Well, sort of a balance. I hope everyone had a good weekend. I took a rare break from my normal weekend routine.