No. 1 Noodle House (Rowland Heights)
I think I might have just found the best (or second best) beef noodle joint in SGV.
No. 1 Noodle House in Rowland Heights probably makes the best beef stew I've tasted for beef noodle, even probably better than Dai Ho Kitchen in Temple City (but it's a close call).
Noodle House's broth is a bit fiery, with nice scents of star anise, and a good pungent kick to it. You know the soy sauce was used judiciously, as you can't really detect the actual taste of the soy sauce but you can discern that it's there to accentuate the other spices in the broth. And I am told by the staff that the kumquat peels used in the broth is homegrown from the owner's backyard garden.
Good soup, good beef, good noodles. Go get some before the weather turns a bit too warm to fully appreciate a steaming bowl of noodles.
No 1 Noodle House
18180 Colima Rd
I don't know if they changed the formula of the soup, but it doesn't taste at all what you described when I went recently.
Not spicy, and more a cinnamon scent than star anise. No discernable taste of kumquat or citrus peel. Kind of one dimensional. Beef was a bit 'gamey'. Best part though is you can order knife cut noodles for the regular noodles (not on menu, but the neon sign outside has the chinese characters for knife cut noodles).
For my money I will still rank the beef & tendon noodle soup at Supreme Dragon in Rowland Heights first, then Shau May's version (ultra spicy and a tad greasy) next, before the No. 1.
I like the hint of leeks/garlic/onion in Supreme Dragon's soup, and I like the tendon there (maybe too chewy for some)
On the plus side the No. 1 noodle place has a dish with tofu and fish slices swimming in a soybean chili sauce that just hits the spot, and I'll have to try their chili wontons and the beef rib noodle soup next time. Being able to walk to Ce Fiore for a froyo dessert to calm down my mouth afterwards is a plus.
Finally went there and noticed they also had chicken noodle soup on the menu, which is often not a choice at these types of places. However I outsmarted myself in ordering it because it was tasteless, the broth bearing a strong resemblence to diluted dishwater. Guess I'll stick to the recommended dishes next time.
We ordered that chicken soup also for my son who couldn't take the spice. It was a bit bland. Fortunately we had that spicy tofu-fish dish so I just fish out the noodles and top with the tofu-fish mixture.
Everyone else seems to order the dan-dan noodles and the spicy wontons. Basically just the stuff on the pictures. I wanted to try the rice cakes but they were out.