FOR: HAND-STRETCHED NOODLES
224 Maple Ave. W, Vienna; lotusgarden.webs.com
Paintings of soft, lush pink and purple lotus flowers hang on the walls. It’s serene for just a minute. Through a window, the kitchen appears. Red ducks hang by their limp necks. Men with dark hair and white get-ups move quickly. One is stretching noodles, like school children pulling to create patterns in a game of Chinese jump rope.
The noodles are even more entertaining in the bowl. They are long and continuous in meaty broth with baby bok choy, having lost bitterness in the boil, floating next to soft, salty cuts of brisket.
Do not skip directly to the noodles. Savor the simple seasoning of salt and pepper wings. Crispy and savory, they are best left sauceless. They are even good cold, lest the noodles leave you room for an after-dinner snack.