In the heart of Los Angeles, amidst a bustling culinary landscape, there exists a hidden gem that has been reshaping the way to experience Chinese cuisine. Bang Bang Noodles started out as street food and is now known for creating dishes that live up to the finest dining experiences. At Bang Bang Noodles, they’ve taken a traditional Chinese delicacy, the Biang Biang noodles, and given it a modern twist. But what truly sets Bang Bang Noodles apart is the genius behind their meals. Meet Robert Lee, the executive chef who brings an extraordinary culinary background to the table. From Los Angeles to San Sebastian to New York City, he’s honed his skills in some of the most famed Michelin-starred restaurants. For him and the entire team at Bang Bang Noodles, food isn’t just sustenance, it’s a form of honoring culture and heritage by making sophisticated flavors accessible to the people of Los Angeles.
What inspired you to get into foodservice?
“I started cooking because I wanted to start my own business but still be creative. I was always fascinated with food, and it came full circle. I wanted to elevate Chinese cuisine in Los Angeles. Bang Bang Noodles elevates Chinese cuisine by showing the complexity in ingredients with traditional techniques and flavors that are comparable to fine dining meals.”
What do you love about your business?
“It is extremely important for me to express my culture through food because of the history of how it’s been prepared and conveyed through the ages. I am a true believer of being purist with how things are culturally expressed. We need to pay homage to our ancestors that figure all this out for us.”
What’s the most interesting thing to happen to your business?
“We got to sell our noodles at Coachella, and I’ve been featured on Eater, Infatuation LA, FoodInsider, FoodBeast, LA Times Food, and Thrillist.”
What is the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?
When Bang Bang Noodles started taking off, it was such a heavy supply and demand and I really needed to ask for help. I started hiring up quickly because I knew it wasn’t a one-person process anymore. I hired one of my customers that saved my process dramatically and I slowly built a small team to supply the long lines that waited for me every day when I was a pop up.