Like many places in Chinatown, Lao Di Fang is a Fujian-owned enterprise advertising and selling a cuisine from another region or country, in this case the hand-pulled noodles of Lanzhou. As good fortune would have it for all of us, there are a few good ones around Chinatown, and this is up there with the best.
I like hearing the thwack of a noodles being made in the back as I eat. I like my noodles not to look machine made, with all sorts of differing sizes in my bowl. I also like the drawing of koi fish made out of money on the menu, those must be extra lucky and promote health accordingly.
Despite not quite living up to its name, the spicy hot pot beef ($6.50, below) is my favorite here. The toasted chili oil at each table is nice, and you can quickly rectify any situation with it. The broth reads opaque and thick, it is definitely a winter warmer if need be, despite my visit in August.
The noodles here are quite clumpy, so it takes some effort as always to grab just the right amount without splashing the bright red liquid all over the table and yourself. It is not really the type of place to expect the best cuts of meat no matter what your selection, seeing as how the prices are so low, it is more about the delicious broths and noodles.
Less appetizing is the pork chop ($5.50, below), using boring cuts of meat but with a good broth and noodles. I would almost just put these aside and enjoy the fatty drink next time. The most popular seems to be their house special ($6.50, not pictured), a combination of beef, beef stomach and tripe, roast duck, all in a beef stew. It comes topped with an egg.
There are over 25 options for a bowl of hand pulled noodles, so most likely everyone can find something to suit them.