Shandong Deluxe's Forever Noodles

A Northern Chinese restaurant with a hand-pulled specialty

It takes a long time to make it from one end of a Shandong Deluxe noodle to the other.

The hand-pulled noodles, chewy and twisted, seem to stretch out into infinity as you inhale them. The restaurant's owner-chef, Mr. Wong, last plied his trade at King of Noodles on Irving Street, and he's built his menu around his specialty.

That doesn't mean that you should skip the simple, agreeable cold salads, such as cucumbers and boiled peanuts ($6) tossed with sesame oil and soy sauce, or the boiled dumplings, which come in such novel varieties as lamb with grated zucchini ($7 for 12).

But to miss the noodles would be to go to Tony's Pizza Napoletana for a side salad.

Wong, originally from Shandong Province, worked in China's northwest for a spell; his Xinjiang noodle ($8), stir-fried with lamb or beef in a mild tomato sauce, is true to its Uighur roots, but not as charismatic as the brashly spiced "combo spicy seafood, chicken, pork noodle" ($7).

The crimson broth teems with mushrooms, meat and kimchi-like pickled cabbage, whose tartness pervades the flavor of the chile-laced soup.

Is that one noodle in the bowl or 20? You may never find out.

Shandong Deluxe, 1042 Taraval St. (at 21st Ave.); 415-592-8801