“I’m all about keeping it simple,” owner Jon Lei said. “First you walk in and get your bowl. Then you fill the bowl up with all your favorite veggies, and when you’ve got the combination that’s right for you, hand the bowl to the cook and he’ll put your noodles, meat and veggies on the grill, and you’ve got your bowl of healthy and delicious noodles within minutes.”
Oodles of Noodles, which opened in Brentwood in July, isn’t your traditional Mongolian barbecue joint. Rather than offer all-you-can eat specials, Lei offers a one-stop-shop where customers get to personalize their meals by adding as much or as little of an ingredient as they desire. Vegetables offered include baby corn, green onions, mushrooms, carrots, cabbage, and bell pepper. Customers may also add tofu, garlic or tomatoes and a host of other toppings that rotate throughout the week.
Lei said kids particularly like the “Oodle” process because they get to pick exactly what they want, and they get the added bonus of watching their food be prepared for them right before their eyes.
Mongolian barbecue involves the use of a large, circular griddle which allows the noodles, meat and toppings to be cooked without falling through the grates of a grill. According to Mongolian legend, warriors used their shields to cook their meals much like the circular iron griddle that is used today, Lei said.
A vegetarian noodle bowl costs $5.99. Add $1.29 for chicken, pork or beef; or add $1.99 for prawns. For a change of pace, customers may also order rice bowls (with white or brown rice), and tortilla or lettuce wraps.
Lei said he knows he offers unique cuisine, but he thinks it is something that Brentwood is ready for. “Oodles of Noodles is a fresh spin on Mongolian barbecue,” he said. “It’s a new twist that meets the needs of today’s lifestyle. We’re always running around, so we need food in a hurry, but we also need our meals to be healthy, and that is what Oodles of Noodles is all about. It says so on the sign: ‘a place to eat healthy in a hurry.’”
At Oodles of Noodles, you can cut back on the calories by selecting the zero-calorie noodle, which is also free of carbohydrates. Pair the specialized noodles with some protein and a heap of veggies and you’ve got a healthy meal that is ready for dine in or take out.
Lei is no stranger to the food industry. He owns Digger’s Diner along with his wife DiAnn and when the location at Lone Tree Crossing became available, he couldn’t pass it up. But there were already a number of burger joints in the area, so he decided to think outside the bun.
“I used to be in the real estate business, but when things started to take a turn for the worse, I joined my wife in the food business,” Lei said. “Now, I’ve got this place and I’m helping fulfill another one of life’s primal needs. First I was in the shelter business, now I’m in the food business.
“People have had such nice things to say about this place. They say the food is amazing and that is a real compliment. I just want to offer reasonably priced meals that are good for you and taste good too. So far that formula is working.”
Oodles of Noodles, located at 6670 Lone Tree Way, Suite 5, in Brentwood, is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. For more information, call 925-418-4970.