Although the dishes may not sound appetizing in print (spicy pig ear, anyone?), they’re undoubtedly drool-worthy on the plate. Pork stuffed pocket bread ($8.95 for four) is a lesser-known but equally desirable cousin of the doughy bao sandwich. The thin, unleavened bread is toasted on both sides and topped with sesame. It’s buttery, but unassuming, and sets stage for the savory filling: fluffy pork crumbles with fragrant green onion and cilantro.
And the combination of chow mein with hand-pulled noodles at China Mama is transcendent. It's no wonder this restaurant was voted "Best Noodle Dish" and "Best Chinese Food" in the Desert Companion 2015 Best of the City issue. Put aside any fetishes for cultural authenticity and embrace the Westernized dish in this form. The noodles — so magnanimously, comically long, you suspect a prank afoot — achieve this perfect, apotheotic noodly-chewy-firmness that sends my inner carbovore into beast mode.