OB Noodle House – Ocean Beach

OB Noodle House is a locals’ hangout, and the saying, ‘always eat where the locals eat’ definitely applies here. If you’re a fan of the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” you may have seen the episode featuring this Ocean Beach favorite. The restaurant has also appeared on TruTV’s “Barmageddon.” Not only is it wildly popular with the neighborhood, but it has an interesting backstory as well.

Brothers Steve and Kyle Yeng came to the U.S. with their family in the 90s after five years in a Thai refugee camp. Their Chinese parents and grandparents emigrated from China to Cambodia to escape communism, only to find themselves in a similar situation a while later having to flee the Khmer Rouge genocide.

Once in SoCal, the family started OB Doughnuts where the brothers worked growing up. Lucky for us, the brothers started OB Noodle House, an Asian fusion restaurant, in 2008, hiring friends from Point Loma High School to work the kitchen. The camaraderie among brothers and friends has resulted in very low staff turnover and epic food at this busy restaurant.

OB Noodle House Ambiance

OB Noodle House can best be described as casual in the truest sense.

From the outside, it has a neighborhood pub appearance with its painted grey and taupe façade, corrugated metal roof, and white patio fence. The door to the entrance is opaque with stickers and the side of the restaurant sports a large urban mural. Everything about it says ‘this is OB.’

Inside, the restaurant has a gastropub layout with a large bar dominating one wall. The opposite wall has a single long, black banquette the length of the wall with a few benches, bistro tables and chairs. Behind the banquette is a wall-size mural that tells a story, and a realistic looking leafless tree in one corner that appears to come out of the scene. The back wall has colorful textured tiles. If you look closely, you can discern a human face – one of the characters from the mural.

A glass pane garage door opens onto the front patio and floods the room with light and San Diego’s fresh air. The ceiling is black with hanging Edison lights, the ductwork is copper, and behind the bar the wall is gold. Metal and wood are definite design elements.

OB Noodle House Food

The signature OB Special Pho is one of diners’ favorites. It all begins with a flavorful, homemade slow-cooking broth concentrate. They stack beef brisket, flank, tendon, and rare steak in a bowl over rice noodles, add pinches of tripe and onions, top with the homemade broth, and garnish with green onion and cilantro.

Guy Fieri’s take on the pho? “You’re gonna have a pretty tough time finding it this good.”

Another neighborhood favorite is OB Noodle’s spicy garlic wings. For this dish, they use chicken wingettes – the flat mid-section of the wing – only. They marinate the wingettes in a house recipe satay, deep fry them, transfer them to a wok seasoned with goodness, garnish with cilantro, and serve with ranch dressing. This is what magic must taste like.

The house special fried rice is another must-try entrée at OB Noodle House. It starts with a homemade sausage from their father’s secret Chinese recipe. This exquisite fried rice has Dad’s tantalizing sausage, plus jumbo shrimp, beef strip points, a sriracha egg mixture, Chinese broccoli, green onion, and jasmine rice stir-fried to perfection and garnished with cilantro. Spicy sweet deliciousness on a plate.

This is only the beginning with over 50 menu selections. Other menu standouts are the Vietnamese sizzling fish and Angus beef Korean short ribs.

You can expect over 40 taps of craft beer, house infused sake, and signature craft cocktails, including their ‘World Famous Peanut Butter Jameson shot.’

OB Noodle House Details

OB Noodle House is open noonish to late night. It’s a good option for either lunch or dinner. There are TVs and complimentary Wi-Fi, plus outdoor seating. Kids are welcome, but there can be long waits due to its popularity and no reservations policy. They do have take-out as an alternative, and they welcome calls inquiring about wait time.

There are Happy Hour specials on both food and drink Monday through Friday. Taco Tuesdays and Thursdays feature Asian pork belly tacos made with Korean-style pork belly, garnished with sriracha aioli, homemade papaya salad, and cilantro.

Due to popular demand, there is now a second location a mere seven blocks away. OB Noodle House’s Bar 1502 is located a block from the OB Pier on Niagara Avenue. Their most recent venture is The Holding Company, OB’s premier live music venue and bar. This team knows hospitality.

OB Noodle House Neighborhood

Ocean Beach is one of California’s last remaining bohemian beach towns. The close-knit, laidback neighborhood is on the Pacific side of Point Loma peninsula. It’s characterized by its food-coops, independently owned stores, head and surf shops, sandy beaches, and lack of retail chains – which the neighborhood vigilantly resists. It’s also home to the Ocean Beach Pier, the West Coast’s longest concrete pier. At the end of Newport Avenue, the main drag, you’ll find a sandy beach and popular surf spot next to the pier. Further north, the beach runs into Dog Beach where your furry friends are allowed to run free and swim in the ocean.