Saturday, December 4, 2010

Les Pâtes Vivantes II - Paris

It's Official, Happy Nouilles Takes em Out!
I'm a Zha Jiang fanatic.  If that doesn't mean something to you, it should.  We're talking hand-pulled noodles with ground pork and fermented soybean paste.  Maybe that doesn't sound enticing to you if you've never had it - think of it as a spicy, porky spaghetti.   Still doesn't sound good?  Seriously?  I cannot get enough of the stuff and in Paris, my favorite version is at Happy Nouilles, not Les Pâtes Vivantes.  I confirmed it with a visit to the latter's recently opened second outpost on Blvd St Germain.
This is just a quess but I think Auntie Duan, the owner, targets a French crowd and waters things down a tad.  Logical.  Their Zha Jiang simply doesn't have the zesty burst of flavor that I now expect. 
The new space has a lot more light and elbow room as compared to the original and feels a lot more Parisian.  Depending upon your tastes, that may be a good thing or a bad one.  I miss the cramped hustle and bustle of the original.
I do give them credit for their new bowls, however.  They are slanted at the front, making them easy to slurp from.  I felt like a pig at the trough but ended up with less splatter on me than usual.  Sorry Auntie Duan, when the noodle pangs hit, I'll be at Happy Nouilles from now on.
22 Blvd Saint-Germain

5th Arondissement

Related Posts by Category

Widget by Gagan


  1. I hate those bowls. Planet Douchey uses them, too...

    I love les Pâtes Vivantes, but haven't been back ever since I discovered Happy Nouilles. Also worth exploring in the Parisian hand-pulled noodles game: Noodles Atelier & Noodle Nº 1.

  2. No way man! I love those bowls. Been to Noodle No 1, no good at all.

  3. @Omid - I tried Noodles Atelier today, great spot. Good call.

  4. Love Les Pâtes Vivantes! I go there for their noodles with shrimps and pickled mustard greens. Simply Yums! I loved it so much I even blogged about it! :)

  5. @Eva- I hear you, they were my first Paris noodle love. Now I've found a purer version. Happy Nouilles has that FOB flavor! Check em out!

  6. Even though Les Pates Vivantes was not your first choice anymore, we decided to try the hand-pulled noodles anyway since the restaurant was within walking distance of our hotel. I love the tender! We don't have the hand-pulled noodles where I live, so it was still a treat. Great blog, we went to a few of your recommendations and we love your taste! - Deb

  7. @Deb - glad you enjoyed yourself, good to see this blog is a help.