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.
Fried Stinky Tofu
I noticed a newer menu with some Taiwanese street food items like stinky tofu, which I just couldn’t resist. When the fried fermented tofu arrived, it did carry quite a smell. Unfortunately, the flavor was very mild and you couldn’t taste that it was fermented tofu at all.
Spicy Mala Stinky Tofu
I saw this on the menu and was debating whether to try the fried or the spicy version. I couldn’t decide so we ordered both! This style of stinky tofu is often found at night markets in Taiwan, but less common in the US. The tofu is cooked in a spicy Sichuan-style mala broth. We found this version to be better than the fried version here. The fermented flavor was more apparent.
Overall, we had a so-so visit. Despite being known for their beef noodle soup, we’ve never been terribly impressed with it or its other dishes. The one standout is probably the beef pancake roll. But there aren’t many options in San Diego for Taiwanese food, so we’ll come here every once in a while.
You can view more photos and the menu from my original post here.