Chang'an Artisan Noodle soft opened at 580 N. Rengstorff Ave. in late December, co-owner Tony Chan said. Kumino closed in October after outgrowing its space.
It's the first restaurant for Chan and his wife Vanessa, but both have culinary roots. The family of Tony Chan, who is from Los Altos, owns Lucky Chinese Bistro in Mountain View. His family also owns a well-known restaurant chain in Taiwan whose "claim to fame," he said, is its former chef: the now-deceased Peng Chang-kuei, who invented General Tso's Chicken.
Chang'an is Vanessa Chan's "baby," her husband said. She hails from Shenyang in north east China and trained at a well-known "noodle academy" in Xi'an, the capital of the Shaanxi Province in north west China. The Mountain View restaurant gets its name from the ancient city's previous name, Chang'an, and specializes in a type of noodle that originated there: biang biang noodles.
Biang biang noodles are hand-pulled and then ripped into jagged, wide strips. At Chang'an, they're served with lamb, bell peppers, onion and a spicy cumin sauce. (A reflection of a Muslim influence in Xi'an, which was located on the Silk Road and has a Muslim Quarter today. Read more about biang biang noodles here.)
The restaurant also serves housemade spinach noodles, another popular dish from Xi'an, paired with garlic shrimp.
There are echoes of Kumino's fusion touches at Chang'an, such as the inclusion of kimchi or the use of butter and cheese in the spinach noodles dish.
"She wants to bring something different to the Bay Area, something more traditional … yet (that) has a little fusion flair," Tony Chan said of his wife.
Other dishes include dan dan noodles, spicy braised beef noodle soup, mapo tofu and a poached salmon tobiko bowl, per a menu posted on Yelp.
Chang'an is open Tuesday-Sunday for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and for dinner from 5:30-9 p.m.