Little Village Is Big On FlavorCover Story Features
August 13, 2017
Story By: Kyle Galdeira |
From its home in the heart of Chinatown, Little Village Noodle House continues to garner critical acclaim by offering award-winning Chinese cuisine in a comfortable setting.
Little Village has built a loyal following over the past 16 years, and regular visitors will attest that the meals and family-friendly atmosphere at the restaurant are top-notch. By utilizing a primarily Northern Chinese approach to cooking, the eatery cuts out useless calories by focusing less on thick gravies that mask natural flavors, and instead creating stellar sauces with bold ingredients throughout each meal.
“We want customers to rediscover the restaurant because we offer a lot of value, quality ingredients and great service,” says general manager and president David Chang. “We cook everything to order and we also get our fresh vegetables daily from the markets here in Chinatown. If you haven’t had a chance to try our dishes, now is a great time to check us out. You’re always going to get a good meal here!”
Honey Walnut Shrimp ($18.50) is a must-try when visiting Little Village, and it still serves as one of the restaurant’s iconic dishes. The succulent shell-less jumbo shrimp are tossed in a garlic scallion cream sauce, cooked to perfection and topped with candied walnuts.
Orange Chicken ($11.25) is another popular, award-winning selection that features a tangy sauce made from real orange juice. Chang notes: “It’s very popular — we sell a ton of orange chicken.”
Diners can reel in the flavor via Seafood with Mixed Vegetables Pan-fried Egg Noodle ($12.25), which is composed of shrimp, scallops and squid that are stir-fried with mixed vegetables before being served over crispy pan-fried egg noodles. Dried String Beans ($10.50) are wok-fried under high heat with Little Village’s chili garlic sauce, and the tasty dish is available with minced pork as well.
“We try to avoid the shellfish sauce (like oyster sauce), so we incorporate chili and garlic that bring out a lot of flavor,” says Chang, when describing the string beans.
Salt & Pepper Pork Chops ($12.25) is another of Little Village’s cornerstone dishes, complete with tender-yet-crispy pork chops tossed with fresh garlic, ginger and Chinese spices. Chang says the “boneless pork chops were created based on requests from customers who didn’t want to deal with the hassle of looking for bones before each bite. The pork chops are loaded with flavor, yet the meat remains very tender.
“These are key items that have helped us carry on the tradition since we opened in 2001, and they all capture the flavor of what we’re all about. The restaurant was never meant to be formal, and we focus on being a family gathering place — we offer family-style dining, and our dishes reflect that.”
Little Village gives diners a big reason to make the trip into downtown Honolulu, as lunch and dinner are served daily, and the restaurant’s friendly staff is standing by to make the experience a memorable one.
Offering vegetarian, healthy bites
Little Village Noodle House is known for its savory chicken, beef, pork and noodle dishes. However, the restaurant also offers a wide selection of vegetarian options, and can accommodate requests to replace meat with tofu or extra vegetables for most of the additional menu offerings. And, MSG is not used in the preparation of dishes at Little Village — another benefit for customers looking for a health-conscious yet delicious meal.
Customers will also want to note that the eatery’s popular Salt & Pepper Pork Chops ($12.25) are breaded with potato starch instead of flour. This allows the heart-of-the-house team to offer the familiar texture, while providing a healthier, high-quality option.
Little Village Noodle House
1113 Smith St., Chinatown
Sunday-Thursday, 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 10:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m.