Sunday, October 30, 2011

101 Noodle Express: Acceptable for the West Side

It's well known that there is no good Chinese food on the Westside; we are all resigned to driving to the east of Downtown, like San Gabriel Valley, to get our fix of Chinese / Taiwanese / Vietnamese food. I was relatively encouraged when 101 Noodle Express, a restaurant with at least three locations in Arcadia, Alhambra and Rowland Heights, opened up a stand in the food court of the Westfield Culver City mall on Sepulveda by the 405. I don't think I've ever seen any Chinese restaurants from the eastside open up locations on the Westside, so I was eager to give it a try. We ordered a beef noodle soup, minced chicken with pickles noodles and the beef roll, the most popular menu item on the east side location. The food was decent; I would definitely hit it up again if I had a craving for Chinese food. The noodles of both the beef noodle soup and minced chicken noodles had decent texture and weren't mushy. The beef in the noodle soup was a little dry and stringy (sadly with no tendon, my fave) and the broth wasn't as complex or deep as really good beef noodle soup, but honestly accidentally I put so much spicy chili oil in it that I couldn't really tell. Beef noodle soup is one of my favorite foods in the world, so for me, any beef noodle soup is better than no beef noodle soup. The minced chicken with pickles and tofu noodles was quite good as well, with decent flavor, and even refreshing with the fresh julienned cucumbers. The beef roll was just slightly oily, but not nearly as oily as it could have been (I don't like it oily), so it wasn't bad either. Definitely acceptable for westside Chinese comfort food, and more than acceptable for food court fare. I don't think that it's doing too well in the food court; they were offering 30% promotion off of the entire check, it may just not be the right location or them.
101 Noodle Express
6000 Sepulveda Blvd
Culver City, CA

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