The combination of the bone chilling dampness and a lingering cold have been conspiring to turn C+M into a soup blog. Last week I found myself at Bella Roza, a Rego Park pizzeria turned samsa and Uzbek bread bakery. “Do you have soup?” I asked the grandmotherly woman behind the counter who looked at me quizzically. “Lagman?” I said reaching into the fevered recesses of my brain to recall that I once heard that they serve the hand-pulled beef noodle soup. “Ah yes,” she said with a glimmer of recognition in her eye. I took a seat and dipped some crusts of bread into Bella Roza’s excellent hot sauce as I waited for my soup.
Five dollars and five minutes later I was presented with a steaming bowl chock full of veggies, bits of beef and the namesake noodle, lagman. After adding some of the hot sauce I dug in. The noodles were pleasantly springy. By the time I finished the bowl I was feeling nourished and better able to breathe.
There are perhaps a dozen restaurants in the Uzbek enclave of Rego Park where one can get lagman. For now Bella Roza is my favorite, if only because it’s so incongruous to find Central Asian comfort food in a space that was once devoted to Italian-American fast food. Queens never ceases to amaze me.
Bella Roza, 63-52 Booth St., Rego Park, 718-275-0777