I grew up in San Luis Obispo, California. A small town. When my family wanted to go out and enjoy "international" cuisine we had three choices... "Italian", "Mexican" and Mee Heng Low/"Chinese". As far as I knew, this is all there was. Mee Heng Low was my favorite. It was smack dab in the middle of "Chinatown" a block of Palm Street, that was the hub of Chinese culture beginning in the late 1800's. Our family loved going to Mee Heng Low, our favorite dishes were the egg foo young and the chop suey. We always dined upstairs and we always made sure to order enough food so that there were plenty of leftovers to take home.
Sometime after I moved to LA, I heard that the Mee Heng Low that I knew, the one that had been in business since 1957, had closed its doors. When I was pregnant with my son, I almost went insane craving their egg foo young. I searched Southern California high and low and found nothing that was even close to the delicious vegetable and egg pancakes that were drenched in gravy. Last year, I begin to hear rumors that it had reopened and had been reinvented as a noodle house. Many of my Facebook friends have been mentioning it in their status updates. It was all praise, so I vowed that I would swing by on my next trip. But I was not able to get there until last week. And boy, was I ever happy! Even though my beloved egg foo young is now only a memory, they do have a chop suey on the menu that fulfilled my cravings. Made with simple and crunchy vegetables, but packed with loads of flavor and soaked in a sauce that was layered in flavor.
The menu is simple, you fill out an order sheet at the counter and you can either sit in their dining room or take-out. One of the options is for a noodle soup where you can chose your type of noodle and have it with meat or vegetable or tofu. But the biggest surprise for us was that one of the noodles that they offer is a glass noodle that is made from mung beans. Rejoice! It is wheat and gluten free. Ella was ecstatic. She happily drank as much soup as she could, only breaking to sing, "I LOVE this place! Thank you for bringing me here, Mommy!" Milo and my husband shared a plate of noodles (low mein) with chicken and black bean sauce. Everything that I tried was delicious. And guess what? There were leftovers.
Some people that I have spoken to are a little too nostalgic to give the new place a try. But if you are in the area, I would highly recommend it. You are sure to have a satisfying, delicious meal. Don't get me wrong, I love all of the BBQ that you can get at almost every joint in town. But this place is a stand-out, in a very quiet way.
Not sure if it is the soup calling to us or not, but we are headed back up there this week. Ella has already made me promise that we will get lunch there. And I will be more than happy to oblige.
Mee Heng Low
815 Palm Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401