The sign for Mandarin Deli is hard to miss especially with the bright neon green border and words like "Best Potstickers & Noodle in L.A." With a serious craving for homemade dumplings and complete lack of motivation to make them, we stopped in at Mandarin Deli to hopefully satisfy the craving. With several recommendations from friends in the Valley, we braved the 40 degree weather and ventured to this Chinese restaurant situated just a few minutes away from Cal State Northridge.
The restaurant was full when we walked in and almost everyone had potstickers on their table, which was a good sign. We were seated within a few minutes by a very nice waitress and the complimentary tea arrived immediately after. We sipped on hot tea while we studied the menu and decided on a noodle soup and a dumpling dish.
Spicy chili soup noodle with pork
7.50 + 1.50 for hand pulled noodles
The large bowl of soup arrived at our table with a generous portion of hand pulled noodles, a few pieces of pork and some vegetables. The broth was very light, which was surprising, but quickly fixed with a few dashes of soy sauce and white pepper. The chili flavor was subtle for our taste buds and I immediately reached for the jar of chili oil on the table. The chili oil was nutty and gave the noodle soup an extra layer of flavor. The stand out was definitely the noodles. The noodles were bouncy and had a good amount of chewiness. After make some adjustments to the broth, the big bowl of noodle soup disappeared.
The ten dumplings arrived shortly after we fixed the noodle soup and I was so eager to dig in I almost forgot to take a picture. The pork filling was seasoned just right and each dumpling contained almost a spoonful of delicious pork juice. Although I like to dip boiled dumplings into a soy and chili oil mixture, these dumplings were so good on its own I couldn't bare the thought of tainting the original flavor. The wrappers were thick enough to hold the filling, but thin enough not to interfere with the taste. The ten dumplings disappeared within a few minutes and we immediately placed a second order. Needless to say my dumpling craving was more than satisfied.
Overall, the boiled pork dumplings were delightful and the noodle soup needed some tweaking. I would gladly come back to try the pan fried and steamed dumplings and perhaps a different noodle soup. The service was friendly and better than most restaurants in the San Gabriel Valley. The waitresses are very nice and glad to make recommendations. The restaurant is worn down and could use a new set of booths and seats. Come for the dumplings and take your chances on the noodle soups.
3 out of 5 Stars
9305 Reseda Blvd
Northridge, CA 91324
Plenty of parking in the private lot.