Doing a quick Google search for more Asian lunch spots in Vegas with ratings over 4.5, I came across Shang Artisan Noodle (4.7 from 1.7k reviews). The reviews were great, but many came with one caveat – very long wait times. In general, I avoid places that do not take reservations no matter how great the reviews are. Shang is kind of an in between. You can go on Yelp and place yourself on a waiting list. They update the list in real time with: your place in the line and an estimated seating time. When I added myself to the list, I was 18th in line with an estimated seating time of 1 hour.
You need to check in before your estimated seating time. We arrived 15 minutes prior and were now 12th in line. They will text you when your table is ready. I sat in the car and waited for our turn, refreshing the page to see if our place in line had moved up every so often. At the one hour mark, we were still 7th in line so the Yelp estimated seating time is not accurate. It was an agonizing climb to 3rd in line. At that point, it had been about 1.5 hours since I placed myself on the list. I decided to call the restaurant to get an ETA – I was informed that some people ahead of me had not checked in and we would be seated in 5 minutes which WAS accurate. Finally!
If they ask you if you want a table or counter seat, I would go with the counter if it’s your first time. That way, you will get a front row seat to see the noodles being handmade.
The first person I observed was a gentleman making wontons.
…and here was the result (these are the spicy wontons):
The wontons were incredible delicious. The sauce was the perfect balance of umami, spice and a touch of sweetness. Next, some video of the handmaking of noodles:
By the way, for noodle dishes, you get a choice of 3 types of noodles with one being handmade (and presumably 2 pre made). I dont know why anyone would go with anything other than the handmade.
Before getting our noodles, we got some pork and cabbage potstickers. They were good too, but I would of preferred a little less skin. Make sure to ask for some vinegar to dip and save the sauce from the wontons.
For the main event, we had dan dan noodles and Shang beef noodle. The dan dan was really good (note it’s spicy but in an addictive you will want to torture yourself more way):
..and lastly the beef noodle…
All the noodles were perfectly cooked with some chew to them. I would of wanted more boldness in the beef noodle broth but it was still good. The beef was falling apart tender (note if you eat here, you will NOT want to wear a white shirt or anything you don’t want splashed from slurping noodles; in fact, my wife made a bib with her napkin).
Overall the service was good and the food was delicious. Was it worth the 1.5 hour wait? I would say the first time yes. Definitely. Would I come back? For the food yes, but if I had to wait again I’m not sure. On a subsequent trip, I would try to time it so that I could check in, and have something to do in the area while I waited.