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You can keep Disneyland, for me the happiest place on earth is Noodle Fest. I am an absolute noodle fanatic, so from the moment I heard about the event, fostering unity between North Beach and Chinatown, I was sold. If you ordered your tickets online ahead of time, a $15 passport got you three mini bowls of noodles in both North Beach and in Chinatown (a total of six bowls). There were about 30 choices of noodles total, on two blocks of Grant Avenue, on either side of Broadway to the North and the South.
My favorites in North Beach were the luscious seafood ravioli in a light creamy sauce from Sotto Mare and the Penne Pasta with Wild Boar and Wild Mushrooms from Cafe Divine. On the Chinatown side I went a little crazy for the Combination Fried Pure Rice Noodles (banh bot loc xao thap cam) from the Vietnamese Chinese San Sun Restaurant but I also liked the Beijing Tan Tan Mein from The Pot Sticker Restaurant and the Cold Noodles with Spicy Szechuan Sauce from Z&Y Restaurant.
The afternoon events started at 3 pm and included jazzy music on both sides plus Chinese dumpling and Italian pasta making demonstrations (perhaps next year perhaps the Chinese side might actually include some dumplings?). No matter the differences between the two communities, one thing is clear, everybody loves noodles!
Note: Please do scroll through the slide show of photos, the last picture is my favorite.
More on Noodle Fest:
Single Guy Chef
Gary Soup's slide show