Changing With The TimesInside Feature
September 30, 2018
Story By: Caroline Wright | Photos by: Lawrence Tabudlo
David Chang, managing partner of Little Village Noodle House, had a very busy week.
“I’ve been working on large takeout orders, one from Bite Squad, and one today from our app,” Chang reports with cheerful weariness. “Those kinds of orders are great for the company.”
Chang, who trained as an engineer long before he became a restaurateur, says the market has shifted radically in the past few years.
“We need to adapt to the changing environment, and we’re trying to diversify,” he says. “We have to use technology to keep ahead of the game.”
Offering plenty of options for ordering makes good business sense for any restaurant these days, and Little Village knows this, as the restaurant now provides a variety of means through which customers can order from its extensive menu.
“I always tell customers that we’re very accessible,” says Chang. “You can use our app, go to the website, you can go to Bite Squad, call the restaurant directly, or you can just come in.”
Constant improvement is an infinite theme at this beloved Chinatown eatery, and it might just be how Little Village has managed to thrive since opening in 2001. “Some restaurants have been around a long, long time, but things are changing,” Chang observes. “A lot of pieces are moving around. You have to understand what people are looking for.”
With a new chef in the kitchen, some of Little Village’s recipes have been tweaked to suit local tastes, according to Chang. For instance, the restaurant’s Barbecue Pork Ribs, which are slow-cooked in a two-step process until succulent and tender, appeals to many American palates. “The recipe is more to American tastes,” he says. “It’s an American-Chinese fusion. The meat is off the bone, just like most Americans want their ribs.”
Regularly $18.95 for a half-slab, the ribs will be offered at a special price — just $16.95 — through the end of October. Full slabs will be available for the first time for just $32.
The recipe for Char Siu ($9.50), a featured appetizer, also has been modified. “It’s more of a traditional Chinese char siu,” explains Chang.
Gentle modifications to Little Village’s Taro Duck ($16.95) have yielded delectable results. The boneless duck is crusted with steamed taro and then deep-fried. “It’s very tasty, with onions and water chestnuts for contrasting textures,” says Chang. “The crust is very crispy, like a taro puff, the taro is fluffy and soft, and the roast duck provides great flavor.”
Also currently featured — Fresh Branzino ($24.95), a very buttery, flavorful fish, steamed and served with lovely piquant ginger-onion oil.
The coming weeks will bring a few exciting changes. “We’re actually revamping the menu, at least on the recipe side, and we’re adding some new items,” says Chang. “If you haven’t visited Little Village before, give us a try. If you’re a regular customer, please come back and taste our new and improved dishes.”