Anything like Noodle World in Orange County?
I will be attending a meeting in Irvine in a couple of weeks (I live in Phoenix) and have been craving Noodle World. I'm not going to have time to get up to Alhambra, but is there anything similar in OC? I would think with the huge Asian population in Westminster there might be something of that sort in the area.
The closest thing to an OC version of Noodle World is probably Noodle Avenue in Tustin. The menu is more pared down from Noodle World, from what I can recall. You can order soups like ramen, udon, won ton, and the noodle dishes range from chow mein, chow fun, yakisoba, and pad thai. I can't recall if they have any dishes served with rice.
I couldn't find much of a website that lists the menu for this place, but I found a review that Elmomonster did about a year ago:
Noodle Avenue is conceptually more akin to Malan Noodle than Noodle World in that they'll cook noodle soup maybe with 20 different ingredients (e.g., chicken, fish balls), and you can substitute thick or thin rice noodles, egg noodles or udon. Similarly with their stir fried noodles (similar choice of noodle times), except it only comes in a handful of different ways (e.g., chicken, shrimp). Not a lot of interesting noodle dishes like Noodle World. They do have fried rice and a few other chinese dishes.
Not that I'm aware of. There's a really crappy place called Asian Noodle Cafe across from the UCI campus which you should avoid like the plague. Take examples of popular noodle dishes from across Asia and make them horridly, and that's ANC.
Around these parts, the good noodle shops are specialists.
Ramen - head over to Costa Mesa for the Santouka Ramen shop inside the Mitsuwa Market food court. Shin Sen Gumi in Fountain Valley makes another example of the rich, whitish pork bone broth called tonkotsu soup.
Soba - Fukada Restaurant in Irvine. Chef trained under Matshuhisa, and is probably the best place to get soba in Orange County.
Pho - Halfway decent pho is available in Irvine (Pho Bac Ky, two locations in town), but the best pho is in Little Saigon. I like Quan Hop for high end pho, and Pho 79 for old school hole in the wall pho.
There's a start for you. I'll let others chime in here.