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Apr 16, 2007 02:16 PM

101 Noodle Express

I know the restaurant's been around, and that Jonathon Gold gave its beef roll a pretty great review awhile back.

But I just have to say that after going twice in a month, I'm still craving the beef roll at 101 Noodle Express, on Valley near New, across from the 168 Market.

At $6, the beef roll is practically a meal for two. It's a fried pancake sort of like an onion pancake, with warm shredded braised beef, Chinese pickled greens, and cilantro all rolled up into a big burrito-esque roll. The crunchy outside, soft warm meat, and crispy greens with some sweet duck sauce (like they use for Peking duck) combine very familiar flavors in a brand new way that leaves my tastebuds wanting more.

There are also about a dozen different kinds of dumplings, but be forewarned that they're Shandong style and have very thick homemade skins. There's also a large number of soups and noodles. I'm far from having tried all of them, but so far I like the lamb soup but do not care for their version of beef noodle soup.

beef roll photo:

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  1. I know I'll probably be the one and only dissenting voice on this, but I really find nothing great about the beef roll. The crepe-like wrap is too oily and greasy and the beef is often too sinewy for my tastes.

    I'll take some mongolian stir-fried beef sandwiched inbetween some some sesame bread at China Islamic any day over the beef roll.

    I much prefer the dumplings at 101.

    9 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      ips, how do they taste compared to Mandarin Deli in TC? only place i've eaten it at.

      1. re: eatdrinknbmerry

        Hi eatdrinknbmerry,

        Are you talking about the dumplings? If so, then I prefer the dumplings at 101 over Mandarin Deli. I think the dumplings skins are similar (although 101 gets a slight nod), but the real difference is the fillings. Much tastier and more refined at 101.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          oops ips, sorry i wasn't clear. i meant the beef wrap... who's is better? mandarin deli or 101? who's is best? i don't really know any other places that serve it - but it's great stuff.... mmm the chinese burrito.

          1. re: eatdrinknbmerry

            I don't think I've ever had the beef roll at Mandarin Deli (don't really go to Mandarin Deli all that much ... prefer Dumpling House in Temple City).

            As to other places for beef roll, try Deerfield Garden in Monterey Park.

            Deerfield Garden
            130 South Atlantic Blvd.
            Monterey Park

            1. re: ipsedixit

              thank you sir. is the dumpling house in TC chinese/korean? from what i remember, i ate some jaampong there (seafood noodles).

              deerfield garden has just been added to my list. i like anything 'deer'.

              1. re: eatdrinknbmerry

                Yes, Dumpling House in Temple City is a Chinese/Korean restaurant.

                1. re: eatdrinknbmerry

                  Yup, Dumpling House is owned by a Korean-Chinese couple. Love their gratis kimchi...

        2. re: ipsedixit

          Do you not like scallion pancakes (chong you bing) either? I'm just curious whether you just don't like pan-fried dough--it certainly is greasy--or if you encountered some unusually greasy beef rolls at 101 Noodle Express.

          I've only been twice, so I can certainly believe that their kitchen might be inconsistent. Even in two trips there, I noticed once the beef rolls were piping hot, and once they were hot but not as hot.

          1. re: Pei

            I like scallion pancakes -- never really crave it, but do enjoy it if I'm in the mood. But good scallion pancakes are light and crisp, not oily and greasy. The wrappers on the beef rolls at 101 reminds me a bit of a scallion pancake that has been pan-fried on low heat.

        3. Yeah. I really like their pumpkin dumplings too.

          1. The beef roll kind of grew on me. Went to the Rowland Heights branch. First time, we ordered with just scallions, no cilantro. Too heavy on the scallions.

            Second time, normal. Those were actually really good. Couldn't really taste the cilantro.

            They sell this roll at the 99 Ranch market also (hot food aisle), but I think the pancake would lose its crispiness after sitting in the plastic box for a while.

            We also liked the hot and sour soup and the panfried pumpkin/shrimp dumplings. The house special chicken wasn't that special.

            Actually funny enough we took my visiting parents (super chowhounds) to 101, then to Earthen's a few days afterwards. My Dad told me not to bother with 101 in the future, just go straight to Earthen's. ;)

            1 Reply
            1. re: notmartha

              I also finally went to the Rowland Heights location... the beef roll was amazing. I had only seen pictures and didn't read the thread carefully, so I wasn't expecting a warm item. While the wrap was a little greasy to the fingers, it sure didn't taste that way. I love the sauce and the greens weren't too heavy on the scallions, which I don't particularly care for anyway. Absolutely delicious. I can't wait to drag a companion to the Valley location.
              They really promote their "ping pan" of "lu" items... even the small one is loaded with extremely flavorful items. The large one is enormous; I wish I had time to identify everything but it was just a passing glance on another customer's table.
              Of course, I'm also easy to please, like sel... :P

            2. I think the 101 Noodle Express beef roll might be the single best Chinese dish in the entire San Gabriel Valley, particularly since Dumpling 10053 got rid of their scallop dumplings.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Chandavkl

                Wow, strong words! I don't have the guts to state that ouright simply because I haven't tried all the Chinese dishes in SGV, but I agree that it's been a long time since I've found a new dish that surprises and delights me the way this did.

                1. re: Pei

                  Strong words indeed!

                  I still think some mongolian beef with the sesame bread (with scallions), both from China Islamic, made into a sandwich is a far superiour Chinese "sandwich" than the beef roll.

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    Well I should clarify my statement to say that this is probably the best single dish that I've tried in the San Gabriel Valley. While I have been to almost every Chinese restaurant in the area I certainly haven't gone through all their menus, though I certainly look for the better items. And 101 Express is the once place that I have to force myself to avoid when driving down Valley Bl. looking for the newest place that's opened.

              2. I guess I'm easy to please cause I love the chow at 101 Noosle Express! The Beef Rolls are yummy, I've tried 4 or 5 different Dumplings which I liked a lot and The Beef Noodle Soup was good too! Thanks Jerome!