Liang’s Kitchen – San Jose, CA

Also known as Liang’s Village Cuisine. This is a chain restaurant that is the brain child of Mrs Anne Liang (aka Liang Mama), who migrated to SoCal from Taiwan in the 1980. What started as a little noodle shop in SoCal has not become a chain of 9 restaurants all over California. They define their food as “Military Village Food”, and its history dates back to the 1950’s, when Liang Mama cooked at the military kitchens back in Taiwan. Because the military villages were composed of a melting pot of individuals from all over China, she learnt how to prepare dishes from other regions as well.

This is the second location I have tried (the first being the one in Cupertino). Came at about 11 ish on a weekday and the place got packed fast!

Once we walked in, there is a glass display of army planes and a glass refrigerator with cold appetisers.

Menu is fairly extensive with a good range of noodle dishes (which they are popular for); lunch rice meals; small plates & specialty drinks.

Once seated, we were presented with the order sheet. The pictures in the main menu helps~ When it states L or R next to the noodle dishes, it just means La Pian (wide hand pulled noodles) & R is Regular thin noodles.

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We ordered:

Salty Duck (1/4) $6.25

Pretty good. Nothing exciting but well prepared salted duck. I was a little put off with the feathers bits that were stuck on it but it was good. Not overly salty and tasted how it should; Cold, a little gamey and salted throughout.

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Mixed Black Bean Dry Noodles $6.25

In the menu this was described as spicy but it actually was not. I can’t usually tolerate a lot of spice but I polished this off easily. It had every taste on the spectrum – salty, sweet, a little tangy (from the pickled chilis) and a little spicy. There were all kinds of random bits of the pork in the dish; I can’t say I could identify all of it but I got minced pork, liver, lung and other parts I don’t know… It was interesting texturally and very well balanced.

The noodles were cooked completely but it still managed to be a tad chewy. It holds up against the nice meaty sauce well.

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Beef Tendon Noodle Soup (L) $7.50

Another well prepared dish that hits the spot. The soup was very well balanced – beefy, salty and full bodied with hints of chinese spices. The beef chunks & tendon were very tender and packful of flavour on their own. The noodles were cooked a little al dente with a nice bite to it and has the “chewy” aspect as expected of chinese noodles. Definitely tasted like it was made fresh.

The noodles came topped with pickled sour mustard. It adds a nice acidity to the dish and cuts through the rich fatty soup but a tad overwhelming. I would have preferred it on the side.

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Total Damage: $26 (Including tax & tip)

Personal Rating: 3.25 out of 5 (Pretty Good)

Nothing was exceptional but all dishes were well above average with authentic flavours were authentic and well balanced. Not the best beef noodle but definitely hit the spot for any craving. The noodles are definitely fresh made and taste pretty darn amazing;  with the constant food traffic I doubt the food will be nothing less than fresh.

Service is pretty decent, but very slow – with only 2 servers working the whole restaurant even during the lunch rush. Other than getting our order and bringing us our food & bill, we never saw them again.

All in all, I would definitely come back for good cheap eats!

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Liang’s Kitchen

1701 Lundy Avenue
San Jose, CA 95131

(408) 392 0333

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