Janty Noodle - West Covina
If you're a Southern California-residing Indonesian, you already know about this place. Heck, I've been eating and enjoying their noodles for years now.
Janty Noodle, or as Indonesians call it "Mie Yanty" has become a sort of noodle mecca -- about the closest facsimile to the noodles served at a popular Jakarta institution called Bakmi Gadja Mada, which specializes in crinkly egg noodles with a pronounced chew, boiled but served dry, simply dressed in flavored oil.
"Bakmi" translates to noodle in Indonesian, and the dish is largely a by-product from the ethnic Chinese minority. That they're usually served with wontons called pangsit and a clear broth made from chicken, is further evidence of this fact.
For some, a trip to Jakarta isn't considered complete until you've had a mie ayam (chicken noodle) at Bakmi Gadja Mada. It's to the city as Katz Deli is to New York. These days, I hear the restaurants' gotten so popular with multiple locations that they've officially KFC'd its moniker to just "Bakmi GM".
Closer to our neck of the woods, Warung Pojok in Garden Grove also does a rendition of the dish, but there has been at least one other Southern California Indonesian restaurant that attempted to replicate the success of the original. I remember an actual Gadjah Mada restaurant in Cerritos once, but it's history now. They offered a similar dish, but I don't recall what it was like, or if it was very good.
I am certain, however, that they weren't even close to what Janty Noodle produces. Janty makes their noodles by hand. Each chewy, elastic strand you slurp has with it an imperfect crinkle that speaks of its manual process. Lubing it is a sweet slick of oil that contributes as much flavor to the dish as the pieces of chicken and mushrooms that top it.
After you eat a chopstick's worth of noodle, you take a sip of their broth, which is as refreshingly clear as chicken soup can get before it becomes a chicken drink.
Yes, it's in West Covina, quite a schlep from O.C., but trust me, it's closer than Jakarta and a lot cleaner, too.
989 S Glendora Ave #14
West Covina, CA 91790
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