Capital Noodle Bar

3850 Barranca Parkway
Irvine, CA 92606
Critics' Pick
Capital Noodle Bar

Jennifer Fedrizzi

Capital Noodle Bar is a Chinese restaurant in Irvine. It offers a Hainan chicken noodle, for which take chicken is lain atop a noodle of your choice, and then drowned in hot broth that will promptly seize up and become rubbery. Avoid this dish. If you want Hainan chicken, order as it should be eaten, married with its rice. Besides, if you’re getting noodle soup, there are better ones to slurp here. Take the Capital bowl, which has just about every protein thrown into a broth ladled from tall simmering stockpots that are visible from the bar seats in a room that will remind you of David Chang’s Momofuku in New York with its blonde-wood picnic tables. This soup—whether you choose the silky rice noodle or the crinkly, chewy egg noodles—animates every bowl here. Toppings vary from golf-ball-sized wontons pregnant with pork and shrimp to a so-called “Trio of Beef,” for which spring-loaded beef meatballs meet meltingly tender slices of filet mignon and a tomatoey beef stew complete with carrots, slow-cooked brisket, tripe and tendon. If the latter sounds like Vietnamese bo kho, it’s because it probably is.

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  • Capital Noodle Bar: Ni Hao, Hainan
    Thursday, October 30, 2014 at 6:33 a.m. by Edwin Goei

    The last time I had a perfect plate of Hainan chicken rice, it was in Singapore at some random hawker center I probably couldn't locate now if you gave me a map. Other than Savoy Kitchen in Alhambra, the undisputed king of Hainan ch...

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