Mandarin Deli: Chinese food worth traveling for
One of the perks about CSUN’s campus is that it’s located among a vast selection of exceptionally good food places for good prices. Although it may not seem like it at first glance, the streets of Northridge are home of some of the best and oldest restaurants in the city. Take Mandarin Deli for example.
Run by Taiwanese owners, Mandarin Deli has been serving hearty, and what tastes like homemade Chinese food for over 20 years.
The restaurant looks like an old deli that hasn’t changed much the last few decades, but there’s a sense of charm to it when you realize it’s been so successful they haven’t needed to make changes. The restaurant has brought locals and non-locals to come back and dine for years.
“This is one of my favorite Chinese places in the Valley,” said Tim Starkweather from Colorado, who visits LA frequently. “It’s one of the places I like to visit when I’m here.”
Based on observation, the traditional Chinese music in the background and the soothing soups influence the customers’ exceptionally calm demeanor. In a lot of big restaurants the ambiance is quite noisy, but here, people talk at a normal volume and yet it feels relatively quiet and relaxing.
The service is nice, but a little slow. It took the server almost fifteen minutes before she took the order; then again, there were only two people on staff. They are nonetheless friendly and helpful in recommendations, and a perk is that you get a pot full of complimentary tea while you wait for your food.
The noodles are handmade, the meat is flavorful, and although the food is hearty, it’s not greasy or heavy like a lot of the Chinese foods in America tend to be.
Cathy Lin, one of the servers at Mandarin Deli recommended some traditional items from the menu.
“Did you see our big sign?” Lin said with a huge smile and nodding her head, referring to the text advertising the “best potstickers & noodles in LA.” She said the popular dishes are the beef noodle soup, pancakes and potstickers.
Arup Roy who dined with Starkweather listed some of the foods they ordered, such as Kung Pao chicken, chow mein and scallion pancakes, and said everything was good.
The scallion pancakes are indeed good; fluffy yet crispy around the edges and flavorful – it’s a great side next to their soups.
The beef noodle soup comes with the option of handmade noodles for an extra dollar and is definitely worth the added charge. It’s soothing, flavorful, fresh and simple. Portions are big and all items are under $10.
One recommendation would be to come with a group of friends and try different dishes as many people do here.
Mandarin Deli is located at 9305 Reseda Blvd and is open every day from 11 a.m. to 9.30 p.m. except Fridays and Saturdays until 10 p.m.