The place was on the small side but was quite clean, and we were seated promptly, even though it was quite busy for a weeknight. One way I measure how good the service is at an everyday restaurant is by how they serve my kids (excluding the foo foo fancy places). There are places we go to where I have to ask for everything for them: booster, high chair, plastic forks, water (sorry, my kids can't drink hot tea or wine), extra napkins. Then there are places like Earthen that asks what we need as soon as we enter, and lay out all the kids stuff as we are sitting down. Awesome!
Well, cousin recommended we get certain dishes. So we did. We started out with the Noodle with Soybean Sauce. I guess this is the ja jiang mein, which I understand is a northern Chinese dish that is popular in Korea. Little sister of mine watches thousands of hours of Korean dramas a year and from seeing so much ja jiang mein on those shows, had wanted to try this. We tried asking for it at a Korean restaurant once, but the waitress told us it would be found at Chinese restaurants, not Korean ones. Confusing. But the ja jiang mein was very good, even though it looks gross in the picture. Lots of flavor but not too overpowering.
We also ordered the Combination Chow Mein, because hubby, who is not very open to new things, didn't want to even taste the ja jiang mein. The chow mein had just a hint of spice, so the kids were able to eat it too. The thick round noodles had on it meat, seafood, and veggies. It was flavorful and not too greasy.
Our favorite was the Green Onion Pancakes. Crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside, it was delicious.
The pork pot stickers came on a plate of 8. They were large and also had that perfect crispness on the outside, but the filling was just ok.
The pricing was decent and the servings were generous. I have fond memories of eating dumplings at Oakland's Shan Dong, another restaurant serving northern Chinese cuisine, so I will have to return here to try their dumplings and compare. For northern Chinese food, definitely come here. But really, can you not find ja jiang mein in Korean restaurants around here?
Earthen Restaurants is located at 1639 S Azusa Ave Hacienda Heights, CA (626) 964-1570