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$20 Dinner

Flushing Cold Noodle Mall-Stall Favorite Old Luo Yang Gets Its Own Storefront

The new counter-service spot has about ten seats and a greatly expanded menu.

Stir fried processed noodle with black pepper beef, $12.99

Stir fried processed noodle with black pepper beef, $12.99 (Scott Lynch / Hell Gate)

Who doesn't love eating their way through the food halls of Flushing, especially the crammed and chaotic spots like Golden Shopping Mall (RIP), and the one fronted by Corner 28 on 40th Road and Landmark Quest, right near the train on Roosevelt? Heck, even the newer places like New York Mall offer tremendous culinary pleasures amid their relative gleam.

That said, sometimes you want a slightly more chill vibe while, for example, you slurp up a pile of liang pi, those spongy cold skin noodles splashing around in a puddle of tangy and/or spicy sauce. So I was stoked when Caroline Shin over at Eater reported that one of Flushing's mall veterans, Old Luo Yang, recently opened a whole counter-service restaurant.

Spicy cold noodle, $8.50 (Scott Lynch / Hell Gate)

Owner Yang Liu, who was born and raised in Luoyang, an industrial city in the Henan province and one of China's oldest cities, told Hell Gate that it was "very exciting" to have his own storefront after years of operating in tiny food hall spaces, first at New World Mall—he was one of the original tenants back in 2011—and then at Landmark, where he still operates a somewhat scruffy-looking stand.         

The menu at the new Old Luo Yang remains anchored by noodles, which come in several different guises. For the classic liang pi, order what they call "regular cold noodles," tossed with sprouts, cucumbers, and chewy chunks of tofu. An extra jolt of tanginess is needed here, so dump on the black vinegar sauce.

Regular cold noodle, $8 (Scott Lynch / Hell Gate)

You can also get the wide, flat liang pi in orange (made with carrot), purple (sweet potato), or green (spinach), but I've found that, while visually fun and cool, these don't taste much different than the regular. The pasta in the "spicy cold noodle" dish, however, is in a completely different category altogether, with long strands of a thick lo mein piled high in enough chili sauce to splatter your shirtfront.

The bigger kitchen at the new Old Luo Yang gives Liu the space to expand the menu, and there's a selection of stir fried cold noodles now, served actually cold or "processed," which basically means just-cooked and warm. You can get these slightly-crisp, chewy beauties loaded with shredded pork, or cumin lamb, or, my choice, black pepper beef.

Cumin lamb Chinese burger, $7.50; premium pork Chinese burger, $6.50 (Scott Lynch / Hell Gate)
Cumin lamb Chinese burger, $7.50 (Scott Lynch / Hell Gate)

Those meats can also all be had in sandwich format, stuffed into a flaky, buttery laminated-dough bun that you should definitely not take completely out of its waxed-paper sleeve while eating because you'll just get oily crumbs all over everything. The pork burger was too dry to really recommend, but the cumin lamb burger totally hit the spot. In fact, I'd pop in here just to grab one of these for a strolling-around snack.  

Another new addition to Old Luo Yang: a couple of noodle casseroles, one with beef, the other with pickled vegetables and pork, both served right from the flames in their cooking pot. Various herbal and citrus-y Chinese sodas add a pleasantly fizzy and bright complement to your meal.

A look inside (Scott Lynch / Hell Gate)

There are about ten seats at the new restaurant—some stools sit before a fairly wide eating counter when you first walk in, and on squat Ottoman-looking things at a low counter near the register in the back. Plants and wall hangings add warmth and character to a room dominated by that popular silvery gray fake brick wallpaper that always gives a jumping-to-light-speed feel to narrow spaces. Music is not happening.

(Scott Lynch / Hell Gate)

The new Old Luo Yang storefront is located at 135-42 39th Avenue, between Main and Prince Streets, and is currently open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily.  

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