101 Noodle Express... in Agoura Hills!
- creamfinger Dec 23, 2009 08:19 PM
First let me say that there is no 101 Noodle Express in Agoura Hills and to the best of my knowledge, there are no plans for one. There is a restaurant however called Hot Wok that is nearly as good.
Living in Thousand Oaks, I'm right at the front of the list of people that says there is no good Chinese in the SFV. To my palate they all seem to be variations on the same "sweet and sour" theme, and they all seem to share the same menu. Maybe that's why it took me so long to discover this little gem in Agoura Hills, which I've driven by a hundred times. Maybe I was also put off by the name Hot Wok, which to me sounds like Panda Express or something similar.
Today, I was meeting a friend in the tiny shopping plaza where Hot Wok is located and I decided to stroll over and look at their menu while I waited for him to arrive.
Napa & Pork Dumplings! Leek & Pork Dumplings! Celery & Pork Dumplings! Xiao Long Bao! Beef Roll! These things don't exist in the SFV, let alone in Agoura Hills! I quickly popped my head in and asked the waitress if all of this was made in-house. She said yes and pointed to the back, where sure enough I saw a person making dumplings.
I returned later that night (yesterday) to try the steamed Napa & Pork Dumplings, the XLB and the Beef Roll. They were all fantastic!
Now in fairness to 101 Noodle Express, they have nothing to fear from Hot Wok's Beef Roll, and Din Tai Fung isn't going to lose any XLB business because the masses are flocking to Agoura Hills, but even so, I was very impressed by Hot Wok's food, and I will be going back. If you live in the area and dumplings are your thing, you owe it to yourself to try this place too.
28708 Roadside Dr Ste A, Agoura Hills, CA 91301
FYI. The menu shown on Sporq for the Agoura Hills location (http://www.sporq.com/agourahills/hotw...) is very old and is totally different from the current menu. You may notice that it doesn't list any of the items I mentioned. I suspect that the current owners may have purchased this location from the previous owners and retained the name Hot Wok.
re: Kitchen Queen
Kitchen Queen -- greetings!
I called them earlier in the day because I, too, thought it might be a fun Christmas day brunch. However, the one in Agoura Hills told me that they are closing today and will reopen on Tuesday, December 29th. The lady on the phone said that they would be open over the New Year's holiday, but I would suggest calling then to confirm that information: #818.889-1168.
Most of what the OP mentioned doesn't seem to be on any of the menus, though there are several other dishes that look like they're worth trying (braised pork and preserved cabbage, beef tendon and something or other, chow ma mien, mongolian lamb in some kind of soupy liquid). I dropped by today and ordered the off-menu beef roll and napa&pork dumplings; what arrived at the table was a quite tasty beef roll, and steamed pork dumplings (without napa).
One for two ain't bad.
But if you don't speak Mandarin, this may be the sort of place where you should write down what you want and hand that to the waitress. Otherwise you might inadvertently end up with fried wontons.
Well, there was the regular bound menu (which contained General Tso's Chicken and the like), then there was the piece of paper underneath the glass on the table, plus there were the items written on the dry-erase board, and the pictures posted by the front door.
I don't doubt that they had the dumplings; I just think the waitress misunderstood what I wanted.
Finally an authentic Chinese place in the Agoura area. Be forewarned, this is not for the panda express crowd and speaking Mandarin will definitely help. Other than 1 table, the rest of the clientele this evening were native mandarin speakers.
Their specialties lean towards mainland Chinese cuisine, so no thin skinned dumplings. Definitely try their "Ma La Beef" appetizer if you enjoy the numbing effect of Sichuan peppers, although I would have preferred a heavier dose of the peppers.
I'm so glad I now have an alternative close by if I'm not up for the trek to SGV.