Technically the Westlake version comes in a black carryout bowl. But you get the idea.

Xi’an Noodles, the University District’s destination-worthy purveyor of chewy, hand-torn ribbons and one of Seattle Met's 100 Best Restaurants Right Now, recently opened a second location in Westlake Center. It’s part of the revamped food court situation on the second floor, thus it’s more of a shiny counter than a freestanding restaurant. Still, it just went straight to the top of my list of favorite downtown lunches. 

The favorites are all there—the cumin lamb biang noodles, cold noodles, hot oil noodles—plus vegetable dishes, dumplings and won tons, and a sauce bar to liven them up. My $10 bowl of cumin lamb biang with soup had the right texture, though woe to any customer who didn’t dress for shirt splatters. For noodle aficionados who hang out near Westlake, these are heady days. Dough Zone opened an outpost at Ninth and Pine recently (and it’s been mobbed, rightfully, ever since). Throw in the Din Tai Fung in Pacific Place and you've got a formidable concentration of noodles and dumplings within a few downtown blocks.

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