Slippery chewy cold noodles coated in a chili-spiked sauce have been a favorite since I slurped my first sesame-slicked strand. Here in Queens the cold noodle game gets way deeper than sesame noodles, Sichuan noodles, or even near ubiquitous cold skin noodles from Xi’an Famous Foods. That depth is best measured by something I like to call Tibetan style cold skin noodle sushi. I discovered it at Lhasa Fast Food, a Himalayan hot spot hidden behind a cell phone store.
Laphing sherpo is a yellow bean variety of cold skin noodles, squidgy blocks of gluten and lengths of cool noodles, swimming in a garlicky, chili-laden sauce. The sushi version takes the spongy cube and ties a yellow ribbon of starch noodle around it, forming a roll. The resulting interplay of flavor and textures is revelatory.
Laid out on the plate, the flowers of noodles and gluten call to mind a mandala of deliciousness. Devour 10 of them and contemplate the impermanence of consciousness—or just how lucky you are to be eating Tibetan food in the back of a cell phone store—as the Dalai Lama looks on from high.