Killer Noodle has two locations in Los Angeles, one being in San Gabriel Valley and the other in Sawtelle. Killer Noodle is, of course, known for their noodles which are traditionally tan tan men in Japanese and is the Japanese version of the Chinese dan dan noodles, a Sichuan classic known for its spice and flavors. Thus, one of the unique points of Killer Noodle is their different spice levels that will get you hot and sweaty after a few bites.
After visiting the restaurant several times and thinking about it even more times, I have to say this is one of my favorite noodle spots in Los Angeles and I have shared this place with so many of my family and friends and they have genuinely never disappointed. I am also so surprised (and somewhat pleased) that there is pretty much no wait to this restaurant despite it being in Los Angeles and in a popular area (San Gabriel Valley), therefore, I can pretty much pop in at any time and get seated immediately which is always a plus.
Killer Noodle stood out to me because they only have three different types or styles of noodles that they serve but there are varying levels of spice and numbness (separately) that you can choose for your noodles. The three styles of noodles they specialize in are Tokyo Style, Downtown Style, and Original Style. Each of the three styles of noodles is also offered with broth or without broth depending on what you're feeling that day. I really like that they offer it with and without broth because sometimes you're feeling a nice comforting and warm broth, but sometimes it's too hot for a broth or you're not really feeling soup that day, so I love that they offer this as an option. After choosing your style and whether you want broth or not, you can choose, on a scale of one to six, how spicy you want it and, on a separate scale, how much numbness you want. This type of numbness comes from natural ingredients and a type of spice, not just numbing powder, so fear not. Numbness is a common characteristic of Sichuan dishes, this type of sensation is known in Chinese as "ma la" which means numbing spice.
Each of the three styles are relatively similar in the ingredients that it comes with but differs vastly in its flavor profile and even the type of noodle they use to serve with it. Tokyo Style is a sesame-based dan dan noodle and has a rich and creamy flavor profile and texture. Downtown Style has more tanginess to it with a vinegar and chili oil base and a tangy aftertaste. Last but not least, the Original Style is made with tofu and ground pork and topped with Thai chili and black pepper. Each of the three styles offers a very different experience, and whether you choose to have it with a broth or not can create a whole new experience. I would definitely recommend trying them all, even though they are quite filling so I would recommend bringing a friend to share with, I personally can barely finish one bowl.
I tried their Downtown Style without broth and with level 0 spice and numbness (I know this is wrong in so many ways, but I simply cannot handle any spice and I wanted to be able to enjoy the food, sorry!). I really enjoyed the flavor of the sauce that it came with. I love sweet and tangy sauces that add a little bit of a kick too my dishes to change things up a bit and make it more exciting. I also absolutely loved the noodles and the texture of it, it was perfectly cooked and so slurpable, just some of the best noodles I've had and it paired so well with the sauce. I think about these noodles weekly, honestly. Their noodles are thicker than the traditional ramen noodles that you might be familiar with, these noodles have their own unique texture which I love. I think I personally prefer thicker noodles! On a side note, I highly recommend adding an egg to your noodles, because eggs just make everything better, who am I kidding, but they're especially great with noodles. You can also opt to add chasu pork and cilantro for an extra charge.
These noodles were seriously so addicting that I kept wanting to eat more and more of it even though I was literally so full. If you go here and you can handle spice (unlike me) I definitely recommend trying their spice because that is what they're known for after all. And experiment with some numbness, there's something about it that is quite addicting. I wonder what it would taste like if I only got numbness but zero spiciness... I feel like it would still be a little spicy. Just a warning, however, I believe that their spice increases quite exponentially and even the lower levels of spice can be intense for some, so proceed with caution! Their standard is level three for both spice and numbness and they highly recommend against getting level five or higher if it is your first time visiting.
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