Restaurant Insider with Anne Lee: Little Village Noodle HouseRestaurant Insider
March 22, 2020
Story By: Anne Lee | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO
ANNE LEE speaks with owner/operator DAVID CHANG
It’s been nearly two decades since Little Village Noodle House opened its doors on Smith Street, and it’ll soon be celebrating the milestone — 20th anniversary details are coming, so stay tuned! — with the hungry patrons that flock to its Chinatown location for lunch, dinner and everything in between.
There’s no doubt that Little Village Noodle House has endured a lot in its 20 years of existence, and owner/operator David Chang, recalls a tumultuous time in the restaurant’s past.
“The year that we opened, we had to face 9/11,” he says.
“We survived through it. This particular situation that we have right now as a restaurant hasn’t been too bad for us. We are fortunate.”
This week, Chang, who also serves as one of the establishment’s talented chefs, shares the history of the iconic eatery, as well as what delicious takeout items are available for those wanting some good old-fashioned Chinese comfort food.
AL: What sets your restaurant apart from all the rest?
DC: A lot of people have been loyal followers of my restaurant. They understand my food and know my food is high quality, tasty and, of course, healthy. As much as possible, we include local ingredients, the best and freshest that we can get. My restaurant is very accessible: You can phone order, you can go online, and we have delivery service with Bite Squad, DoorDash, Uber Eats and Grubhub.
We also have our own app that you can download for iPhone or Android (search “littlevillagenoodlehouse”). The app was designed a few years ago and allows customers to order and pick up curbside (this is a free service). You go onto the app and choose the time you want to pick it up, and then drive up to the restaurant. You do not have to get out of your car, we will bring it to you.
There is also a catering option on the app if you want to feed a large family. If you order Little Village Essentials, the staple items, we can prepare it pretty quickly and do not need to know that far in advance.
I have not had difﬁculty ﬁnding the resources that I need to create the dishes that we serve here. I’ve only had problems ﬁnding toilet paper.
AL: What type of cuisine does the restaurant specialize in?
DC: Modern Chinese food. We emphasize on more modern-style cuisine — more spicy, less sauce and bold ﬂavors. We try to use lots of natural colors and fresh local ingredients. I use local resources here in Chinatown.
We are featuring the favorites, aka the Little Village Essentials, like Beef Broccoli ($11.25), Honey Walnut Shrimp ($18.50), Salt & Pepper Pork Chops ($12.25), House Special Fried Rice ($10.75), Orange Chicken ($11.25) and Hot & Sour Soup ($10.50). When you order the soups to-go, we have a really good paper takeout container that keeps the soup hot without leaking on the bottom. We also tape the top of the container so the soup doesn’t spill out. We strive to ﬁnd great takeout containers for our customers and slowly we are going more green.
AL: What is your favorite part of your job?
DC: Seeing generations come through the door. Now, that generation is bringing in their children.
AL: Is there anything else you’d like to share about the restaurant?
DC: We are one of the only restaurants that are open 365 days a year. Even with this current situation, we want to be here for our customers and offer the comfort food options by takeout or delivery. Right now, we are closed on Tuesdays, so we can deep clean the restaurant and restock our supplies, etc. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, we are open from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. — every day except Tuesday.
Trafﬁc is slow, so download our app and take advantage of our curbside pickup option — no delivery charge. We have free parking in our lot, right on Smith Street.