Los Angeles, July 10 (CNA) Eyeing the vast ethnic-Chinese market in the United States, an award-winning Taiwanese beef noodle chain opened its first U.S. shop in Los Angeles last week.
The Lao Dong Beef Noodles' sign can now be seen in Rowland Heights in LA and the chain plans to open two more stores in other U.S cities, its chairman Liu Cheng-hsiung said Tuesday.
The company chose to open its first U.S. branch in LA because of the big ethnic Chinese population in southern California, Liu said.
"Operating the store in an ethnic Chinese community will allow me to gain a foothold in the market and understand and develop it faster," Liu said.
In its first week, the shop recorded daily sales of at least US$4,000, even though the opening was not advertised.
"I think it tastes pretty good," said one customer.
Liu said the shop's goals are to replace pho, a type of Vietnamese noodles, as the most popular Asian noodle dish in LA and give American food connoisseurs a taste of Taiwan's delicious beef noodles.
Lao Dong, which has several shops in Taiwan and Shanghai, will open its second U.S. shop in Irvine, California next month and plans to open another in New York.
Liu said the restaurant chain is aiming for the high-end beef noodle market, on par with French cuisine.
Beef noodles, known as "New Row Mian" in Mandarin Chinese, are a popular dish in the Asian world. In a bid to promote the unique Taiwanese dish, Taipei has hosted the annual Taipei International New Row Mian Festival, which includes the best beef noodles competition, since 2005. Lao Dong Beef Noodles won the top prize in 2006.
(By Oscar Wu and Nell Shen)