Highland Park: Taiwanese Dinner at Joy on York

slack noodles



I love how North East Los Angeles (NELA) is seeing an influx of Asian food including Taiwanese food. I recently checked out Joy on York Boulevard in Highland Park. Joy opened three months ago and is the the sister restaurant of Pine and Crane in Silver Lake.

I have heard Joy is best known for slack noodles. Oh my, these were garlic-y! They were almost too pungent for our taste. Still, the noodles were very nice.

five-spice bamboo shoots, seaweed salad, pig ear from the cold apps case


After looking over the cold case, I chose the seaweed, five-spice bamboo shoots and pig ear from the case. I thought the seaweed was fine, maybe a touch more vinegar was needed but I am a tart fiend. I also thought the bamboo was rather sweet. I don’t remember it being this sweet at Pine and Crane. I did appreciate they tell you what’s in the salads and in this case, rock sugar. I loved that the pig ear was chopped up into uniform pieces. I wanted to sprinkle pig ear on everything!

pork belly bao


I didn’t try the pork belly bao but my friend said she didn’t care for the peanuts. She liked the pork belly itself however.

taro milk tea


I got the taro milk tea to sip on and thought it was weird they gave me a boba straw since I didn’t get boba. Until I slurped up some chunks of taro. Ah, that’s why it came with a large straw. Still, I’m trying to get away from straws so I’ll ask them to take it away next time.

wonton soup


I appreciated the super fresh bok choy in the broth for the wonton soup. I did feel the wontons could have been better. The wrapper didn’t feel deliciously slithery and the shrimp wasn’t as bouncy as I liked. My group however seemed okay with the wontons.


dan dan noodles


The noodles that won the table’s hearts were the dan dan noodles. Not the best I’ve had but I liked the mound of sliced cucumber which helped with the sweetness of the peanut sauce.

yam leaf greens


You get a choice of sauces for the greens. I opted for garlic sauce for the yam leaf greens. Surprisingly the dish wasn’t garlic-y at all. We ended up actually mixing the greens with the overly garlic-y slack noodles for balance.

mabo tofu


I am not sure why I love tofu so much but I do. And I was eager to try the (vegan) mabo tofu. This was nicely spicy. It is however not the level of Sichuan spice. There wasn’t any tingling whatsoever. I also found the appearance a bit off putting since I detest sauces with too much cornstarch. It just makes things look so gloppy. Still, you don’t order food for instagram looks, right? Right. I had the leftovers for breakfast (okay, brunch) and it was better after sitting in the fridge over night.

chiayi chicken rice


The best dish was the chiayi chicken rice. The tender shredded chicken went so well with the nicely oily rice. Yet I couldn’t help but think this simple dish is not what I came to Joy for. Or was it? We all need a little comfort (food) these days.

Overall, I’d give this a B+ for the area but I rather stick to the San Gabriel Valley or Chinatown.


5100 York Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90042  —  (323) 999-7642
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