- Photo by Mina Riazi
Few things can come between me and a fried egg. This fixation began during my freshman year at UCSD—unlike everything else in college, eggs are cheap and easy. Plus, they don't offend vegan friends nearly as much as fish sticks and breaded chicken do. More importantly, though, eggs taste delicious with almost anything. In fact, there are few foods an egg can't catapult from "bland" to "pretty grand." A heap of stale rice? Yes. Canned soup? You bet. Burnt toast? Definitely.
Nonetheless, despite the countless ways I've relished eggs throughout the years, I've never had them served paper-thin atop a pile of noodles like a glorious, golden toupée.
That is, until I visited Red Moon Noodle House (4646 Convoy St. in Kearny Mesa). Opened last year, the one-room eatery resides in a strip mall infamous for its always-about-to-burst parking lot. Successfully navigate a way through the vehicular mess and Red Moon's clean, quiet interior will be your reward. And if you're like me—fan-girl fanatical about eggs—then the Singapore Style noodles will be a bonus reward.
Red Moon specializes in Chinese-Japanese fare. Menu items like yakisoba and champon straddle the fence between the two cuisines and reflect the owner's close ties with both countries: He's Chinese but from Japan. The menu fits in a sprinkling of Thai dishes, too.
Tempted by photos of various menu offerings taped to the outside glass, I slipped into Red Moon at an awkward, 4 p.m. time—a few hours after the lunch bunch had departed and before the dinner crowd would begin to arrive. Naturally, the place was pretty empty.
This meant our server could spend some extra time elaborating on the restaurant's top dishes. The Honey Walnut Shrimp and—rather unsurprisingly—the Singapore Style noodles were the first two she mentioned.
The Singapore Style's curry-seasoned rice noodles are enveloped in an eggy embrace. It's a beautiful sight to behold—the chubby, yellowish dome of egg and noodles glistening with oil. Shrimp and chewy pork driblets also make an appearance, as do slivers of carrot and onion.
I really wanted to love this dish. Eggs and noodles spooning—what could be more splendid, right? But the curry flavor wasn't strong enough and lacked an essential brightness. Plus, the egg blanket was a little on the dry side, as were the noodles. Still, though not resplendent, it was a reasonably solid meal.
The Honey Walnut Shrimp occupied the same close-but-no-cigar level. Minor details needed sharpening in order for the dish to really shine. For one, the walnuts were a bit too blackened for my taste. And the battered shrimp—although crisp on the outside—could have been firmer and snappier. On the other hand, the mayonnaise sauce was silky and glossy and delicious.
Warm, attentive service is Red Moon's strong suit. As for the grub, glimmers of greatness appeared here and there, but neither dish was all-around excellent. I later heard from a friend that Red Moon has a secret menu. I'll definitely be back to see if all the strong stuff is being kept under wraps.