I discovered Shlap Muan during Long Beach Cambodian Restaurant Week. It offers a remarkable culinary experience that showcases its dedication to quality and flavor.

It’s no surprise that they landed in the No. 18 spot on Yelp’s list of top 100 restaurants in Los Angeles County in 2023.

The restaurant in North Long Beach near Davenport Park delivers a journey through traditional flavors skillfully reinterpreted with modern twists. The star of the show is their extensive wing selection complemented by a variety of sides, entrees and beverages — all crafted with meticulous attention to detail.

They serve most of their wings by pouring the sauce over them rather than tossing, which I love because it keeps the chicken crispy. They also offer wok-tossed wings with unique sauces like the Dirty Elvis and Tamarind Tiger.

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Walking in, we were greeted by owner Hawk Tea and his big smile and inviting personality. He excitedly went over his menu and described the flavors and various sauces, making us want to try them all.

Each batch is cooked to perfection, with a crispy exterior that locks in the juiciness of the meat. The sauces and dry seasonings are crafted in-house, inspired by traditional Cambodian recipes and adapted to create nostalgic yet innovative flavors. They are available in different portions (from four wings for $6 to 48 wings for $57).

The house specialty, wok-tossed Dirty Elvis Wings, offers a complex flavor profile combining sweet, smoky and savory elements. The caramel glaze on these wings provides a sticky, indulgent coating that compliments the smokiness of the seasoning.

Garnished with scallions and dry chili, the wings are visually appealing and aromatic. These wings are a testament to the chef’s ability to create a dish that is both nostalgic and innovative.

The Water Buffalo Wings at Shlap Muan in North Long Beach. Photo by Elian Cribari.

The Water Buffalo Wings are a vibrant explosion of color and flavor. The absolute best buffalo sauce I have ever tasted coats each wing generously. The initial bite offers a tangy sensation, quickly followed by a satisfying heat that lingers without being overwhelming. I could have eaten two dozen of these.

The Spicy Cambodian Dirt Wings are a unique offering that showcases the depth of Cambodian spices. The lemongrass pepper seasoning provides an aromatic and subtly spicy profile, setting these wings apart from more conventional flavors. The dry rub allows the crispy texture of the wings to shine.

Spicy Cambodian Dirt Wings at Shlap Muan in North Long Beach. Photo by Elian Cribari.

The Sweet and Spicy Garlic Wings deliver a harmonious blend of flavors. The sauce is a glossy mix of sweetness and pungency with just a touch of heat. The wings stay crispy under the sauce, ensuring a crunch with every bite.

One of the owner’s newest wok-tossed flavors is the Tamarind Tiger Wings, an extraordinary creation. The sweet and tangy tamarind sauce is a refreshing departure from more traditional flavors. The sauce is perfectly balanced, enhancing the natural flavors of the wings without overpowering them.

The Garlic Noodles are a vibrant, aromatic dish that delights the senses from the moment you open the takeout box. The noodles are perfectly cooked, offering just the right amount of chewiness. The flavor profile is rich and savory, dominated by the pungent taste of garlic, balanced perfectly with the buttery undertones. Despite being packed with flavor, the noodles do not feel heavy, making them a perfect side.

The Garlic Noodles at Shlap Muan in North Long Beach. Photo by Elian Cribari.

The Shrimp Fried Rice is another standout dish, showcasing the restaurant’s skill in creating comfort food with a gourmet twist. The rice is well-cooked, maintaining a light and fluffy texture that avoids the common pitfall of being too greasy. The seasoning is spot-on, with a subtle smoky flavor, likely imparted from the wok, enhancing the overall taste.

Shlap Muan’s drink menu is thoughtfully curated to complement their bold food offerings. The Khmai tea, a brewed specialty, offers a refreshing and slightly sweet beverage, and the exotic fruit shakes durian or cherimoya, provide a natural sweetness that balances the savory and spicy flavors of the wings.

Shlap Muan excels in delivering a memorable dining experience through its expertly crafted wings, flavorful sides and unique beverages. The owner Hawk enhanced our visit with his warm hospitality and pride in his menu.

It’s a must-visit for wing enthusiasts and anyone looking to explore the rich and varied flavors of Cambodian cuisine.

Shlap Muan is at 2150 E. South St., Suite 105, Long Beach. It is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday.