what: Fried Noodle
where: The Noodle Lady, Saturdays at Soda City Market (9 a.m.-1 p.m., 1300-1600 Main St.)
My boo is with me, batting her lashes and peeking longingly at my freshly procured noodle bowl. I ignore her unspoken advances. These noodles are simply just too good to play Lady and the Tramp.
Fresh out of the wok, they’re hot, thick, soft and slightly crisp ribbons that have an alluring al dente chew. A smattering of purple and green cabbage, along with carrot slivers round out the dish. The veg is there mostly for color and some intermittent crunch but soon melts into the background of perceptibility as each twirled chopstick-full and slurp of these smooth and flat mouth fillers plunges me deeper into a blissful noodle coma.
Do not skip the garnishes. Top with roasted peanuts and then ladle a couple teaspoons of Lao Gan Ma Chili Crisp Sauce on your noodles to add multi-dimensional textural charisma and some Sichuan peppercorn pow. Move over sriracha, Lao Gan Ma is becoming a red-hot condiment in America, and odds are high you’ll soon want to drizzle this garlicky, oniony, aromatic chili oil nectar on practically everything you eat — from the obvious suspects like shrimp, pork and rice dishes — and anything The Noodle Lady doles out — to less obvious fare like French fries, pizza and hamburgers.