101 Noodle Express Update

26 Mar

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In all the hubbub about Szechuan food taking over the SGV, it’s easy to overlook an old stalwart, like 101 Noodle Express. If you haven’t been (to the mothership on Valley Blvd.) lately, it’s been remodeled and expanded. Maybe say goodbye to the awkward milling around on a Sunday afternoon for beef rolls?


They took over the space next door, which I can’t even remember what it was. New tables, new booths (!), and at least a half-hearted attempt to do something modern with the look. Whatever. I didn’t mind the old sticky tables, even that big round one mashed up against the counter. The food is the same, which is the important thing. And it’s much bigger, about the size of the one in Arcadia across from the Din Tai Fungs, which should mean shorter waits.

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101 doesn’t get enough credit for its non-beef-roll food. The hand-cut noodles are great, and dirt-cheap as a $1 upgrade from packaged noodles. Here is the dan dan noodles, which are tasty, even if they aren’t very spicy. Much closer to a Korean/Chinese jia jia mein.

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I also love their dumplings. Gigantic and full of porky goodness. A Chinese purist would view these as strange, being so big. But they are rich and juicy. Boiled here, but also come pan-fried.

Genius tip: they also sell these dumplings frozen in bags of 50. They’re around $25 depending on the fillings, but they will make you forget about any store-bought frozen dumplings FOREVER.

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They still have the deli case with the side dishes. These cucumbers were a little slimy, but they’re usually OK.

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And, of course, the beef roll.

What more can be said about the beef roll. It’s a perfect blend of thinly-sliced beef, cilantro, hoisin sauce, all wrapped up in a tsong you bing (scallion pancake). It’s what I want to eat every day.

(The LA Weekly recently theorized that it may be a Taiwanese-American invention.)

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Hola, beef roll.

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101 Noodle Express
1408 E. Valley Blvd.
Alhambra 91801
(626) 300-8654

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