To continue staying in the country, the chef has renewed her student visa by studying interior design at UCLA Extension. This is, she says, a practical matter as well as an aesthetic one, as she can design her own restaurants. (As a general rule, Qiu prefers to do things herself.) She loads another bowl with noodles, dresses them with sweet soy sauce, black vinegar and chile oil and artfully arranges a thatch of chicken and green onions on top. This dish complete, she heads back to her ad hoc office, a table in the corner of the restaurant upon which she has an electric kettle, a teapot, cups and a scale to measure tea. Her commute home isn’t much longer: She lives in an apartment above the restaurant.