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101 Noodle Express - Culver City????

Mos Jun 13, 2011 12:27 PM

Apologies if I'm late on a topic that's already been covered. Was at Westfield Culver City over the weekend and saw "coming this summer - 101 Noodle Express" - Was I hallucinating? Will there really be Beef Rolls, Noodles and Dumplings this far west? Anyone have any more info?

  1. wienermobile Jun 13, 2011 12:40 PM

    Yelp set up a page with photo from mall that says coming soon. We can all dream.

    1. Ciao Bob Jun 13, 2011 01:07 PM

      OMG - this would be a chowhounds wet dream if it is a ) true and b) done right.
      So many other SGVers have tried to "Go West Young Man" - Ocean Star-Royal Star, etc. Most often there is a promising start than a not-very-gradual slide into yuck.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Ciao Bob
        Mos Jun 13, 2011 01:12 PM

        Their storefront in the food court was set up (located right by Kyochon), with the coming soon sign in front. Was just missing food and employees. There was also a "help wanted" sign with a 626 number. I hope it works out this time!

      2. Dommy Jun 13, 2011 07:45 PM

        OMG! This and the fact that Yamada is also going to be serving booze when it opens is the best Culver City news of the day!! I spend way too much time at the mall (Between my Bird Pick and Forever 21 habit) that this will bring me MUCH happiness! :D


        1. Chandavkl Jun 13, 2011 08:44 PM

          Actually, an out of the mainstream regional specialty like this might make sense based on the success of Xi'an Famous Foods in New York. There's no Xi'an food anywhere on these shores except in New York, yet they've been able to branch out into East Greenwich Village after making their mark in Flushing and Manhattan Chinatown. I think something like that is more likely to create a buzz on the Westside than a run of the mill dim sum or seafood place.

          Greenwich Village Cafe
          3809 S Soto St, Vernon, CA 90058

          27 Replies
          1. re: Chandavkl
            ipsedixit Jun 13, 2011 08:53 PM

            I'm more surprised that DTF hasn't done it yet, while at the same time they expand to Seattle. Go figure.

            1. re: ipsedixit
              Chandavkl Jun 13, 2011 09:12 PM

              Yes, that was a head scratcher given that the Bay Area and New York would die for a branch. Maybe they want to attract the Vancouverites without setting up shop in Canada. Of course, there's the fake Din Tai Fung in Toronto (actually Markham).

              Din Tai Fung Restaurant
              1108 S Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007

            2. re: Chandavkl
              TonyC Jun 14, 2011 11:32 AM

              Xi'ans success is purely Non-Asian PR driven (though they didn't actually have to pay for any of it). Without Serious Eats, Village Voice & NYT, Xi'an would be just another regional Chinese stall. In LA, it wouldn't even make a peep, save a timely post by you.

              Majority of the dishes at Xi'an can be found in LA, save for that infamous lamb "burger". Combining the offers at 818 Shao Kao, Shenyang Restaurant and JTYH would basically give you all of Xi'an Famous' menu.

              JTYH Restaurant
              9425 Valley Blvd, Rosemead, CA 91770

              1. re: TonyC
                TonyC Jul 7, 2011 01:43 PM

                And apparently it is open.

                First twitter pix in: http://twitpic.com/5mnyp7 (by @danieleats)

                1. re: TonyC
                  Mos Jul 7, 2011 02:10 PM

                  and first two (mixed) Yelps: http://www.yelp.com/biz/101-noodle-ex...
                  I'll have to give it a try either way.

                2. re: TonyC
                  Chandavkl Jul 7, 2011 02:35 PM

                  THANKS! I'M ON MY WAY!!

                  1. re: Chandavkl
                    bsquared2 Jul 10, 2011 07:15 AM

                    I wouldn't worry about it. Very disappointing. Love the original, but the CC location has tiny portions and high prices. It tasted like it was made a week ago.

                    Kyochon, on the other hand, fared a lot better. Piping hot wings. I will say that they keep confusing me by changing their menu and adding a lot of items that dilute the brand. But it was one of the best Mall Food Court meals I've had (which isn't saying much). 101 Noodle Express was a big drag though.

                    101 Noodle Express
                    1408 E Valley Blvd, Alhambra, CA 91801

                  2. re: TonyC
                    odub Jul 7, 2011 03:24 PM

                    Tony: Where else can I get wide, hand-pulled noodles, besides Omar's?

                    1. re: odub
                      TonyC Jul 7, 2011 10:48 PM

                      Kam Hong bud. It ain't hand pulled, but it's hand knead, knife cut wide. Very nice. Better (more consistent) than the knife shaved IMO.

                      Unfortunately, that beef broth is rather weak as well :\

                      There is no perfect NRM in LA.

                      1. re: TonyC
                        ipsedixit Jul 8, 2011 08:55 PM

                        Sometimes I don't understand the fascination -- myopically, so -- with hand-pulled noodles.

                        Most of the folks in SGV that purport to have hand-pulled noodles do it either (1) poorly or (2) incorrectly.

                        Like you, I would much rather have a bowl of hand-rolled and cut noodles done well (which are easier to make than hand-pulled noodles) than a bowl of poorly made hand pulled noodles.

                        Heck, in fact, I would have a bowl of quality fresh commercial grade noodles than a bowl of poorly made hand-pulled noodles.

                        1. re: ipsedixit
                          Phurstluv Jul 8, 2011 10:42 PM

                          How do you tell the difference, ipse? Consistency? Texture? Taste?

                          1. re: Phurstluv
                            ipsedixit Jul 10, 2011 12:13 PM

                            How do you tell the difference, ipse? Consistency? Texture? Taste?

                            The difference between good and bad hand-pulled noodles is all about the chewiness or what is called the "Q" in Taiwanese. Good hand-pulled noodles, for lack of a better way of describing it, is like perfectly prepared "al dente" noodles that have been fully cooked. If that makes any sense at all ...

                            As to the difference between hand-pulled and knife-cut, or even hand rolled? Visually.

                          2. re: ipsedixit
                            Peripatetic Jul 9, 2011 03:55 AM

                            > Most of the folks in SGV that purport to have hand-pulled
                            > noodles do it either (1) poorly or (2) incorrectly."

                            This is what I don't get. Before I moved to LA, I thought hand-pulled noodles meant this:

                            - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUIv3-...

                            However, hand-pulled at places like Kam Hong seems to mean "cut and stretched before boiling". Are both types of noodles "hand pulled"? Or are places like Kam Hong using poetic license? Or is there something else altogether going on in the original Mandarin terminology?

                            1. re: Peripatetic
                              will47 Jul 9, 2011 10:53 PM

                              IIRC, Kam Hong has 3 kinds of noodles: 'shou la', i.e., hand pulled, 'shou gan' (hand kneaded, knife cut), and dao xiao (knife shaved off of a ball of dough).

                              Whether or not they're done properly, I think the shou la noodles at Kam Hong are pulled rather than cut. I don't know if they follow the exact same "pulling" method as the Gansu style ones in the video you link to - I've only seen them do it a few times, and it was ages ago.

                              This CCTV bit on Shanxi noodles includes a bit hand-pulled noodles here:
                              (the whole piece shows a variety of different styles of noodles made in that area)

                              1. re: will47
                                ipsedixit Jul 10, 2011 12:10 PM

                                I have a feeling that Kam Kong (and many other places that purport to have "hand pulled" noodles) are outsourcing them. There is one supplier that is selling commercially made "hand-pulled" noodles that are actually quite good.

                                1. re: ipsedixit
                                  raytamsgv Jul 18, 2011 02:14 PM

                                  Which supplier?

                                  1. re: raytamsgv
                                    ipsedixit Jul 18, 2011 08:00 PM

                                    If you're really interested, I'd have to ask. Commercial sales only. Let me know.

                                    1. re: ipsedixit
                                      raytamsgv Jul 19, 2011 10:49 AM

                                      Don't bother--I wouldn't purchase enough for them. Thanks anyway.

                                  2. re: ipsedixit
                                    JThur01 Jul 19, 2011 02:09 PM

                                    How about an expose ipsedixit. Who has on-site hand pulled noodles versus those that only offer those delivered to them?

                                    1. re: JThur01
                                      raytamsgv Jul 19, 2011 02:54 PM

                                      Does it really matter? The pre-made hand-pulled noodles might actually be better than the one produced in-house. The noodles are essentially a raw ingredient. I think it's what the cooks do with those noodles that is the most important factor.

                                      As an analogy Italian restaurants have many types of pasta, but is it that important if the noodles were made on the spot or purchased from a supplier?

                                      1. re: raytamsgv
                                        TonyC Jul 19, 2011 04:42 PM

                                        Just because it's made in-house doesn't mean it's made better. Read: bread.

                                        1. re: TonyC
                                          ipsedixit Jul 19, 2011 08:07 PM

                                          Just because it's made in-house doesn't mean it's made better. Read: bread.


                                          And most people here would flunk a blind taste test of hand-pulled noodles versus regular noodles.

                                          It it was Chowhound versus Noodle? I'd take Noodle.

                                          1. re: ipsedixit
                                            JThur01 Jul 19, 2011 08:29 PM

                                            To answer ray, Tony and ispedixit, respectively: not really, yes...absolutely, good point, agree and I'd take noodle as well.

                                            Simple curiousity on my part.

                                2. re: Peripatetic
                                  TonyC May 22, 2012 12:28 PM

                                  Since we're all about bumpin' up (some rather ancient) noodle threads today:


                                  Peripatetic, someone should've answered you re: "authentic"/"real" hand pulled noodles eons ago.

                                  Malan, since they opened, have always employed Latino noodle-pullers. I don't know if that qualifies as "true", but that's neither here nor there.

                                  If pulled by hand, "shou la mian, if shaved by blade, "dao xiao" mian. Ain't flying into Lanzhou anytime soon, so I feel rather freaking fortuitous we have so many options in LA as is.

                                  Old chow threads:

                                  1. re: TonyC
                                    Peripatetic May 23, 2012 03:54 AM

                                    Kam Hong lists:

                                    刀削 - dāo xiāo (knife pared)
                                    手拉 - shǒu lā (hand pulled)
                                    手桿 - shǒu gǎn (hand kneaded?)

                                    The 手拉 (shǒu lā) at Kam Hong is not at all like the hand pulled in the youtube video. It's squared off -- much like giant udon. They claimed it was cut and then pulled. It's entirely possible we were whited (although my wife is Korean, which seems to limit our susceptibility to this practice).

                                    1. re: Peripatetic
                                      bulavinaka May 23, 2012 06:43 AM

                                      I haven't been to Kam Hong since March, but the daughter (I assume) mentioned one of these three were finished with a machine? I thought it was the hand-kneeded.

                        2. re: Chandavkl
                          Jerome Aug 10, 2011 04:39 PM

                          ther's a place next to lucky noodle that has some xi'an specialties, blanking on the name, sorry.

                        3. echoparkdirt Jul 16, 2011 02:06 PM

                          Just went there today. Dan Dan noodles were gloopy and uninspiring, with none of the gentle notes that give the dish its occasional wonder. Won't return. Hate malls anyway!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: echoparkdirt
                            ipsedixit Jul 16, 2011 02:34 PM

                            I think this is one of those places that is a viable option if you live around that part of the city, but if one actually has to "go" or "drive" there, might as well make the trek to SGV and visit the Death Star itself. Especially today, when the traffic on the roads are something like pre-1980s.

                          2. n
                            New Trial Jul 16, 2011 05:23 PM

                            Just ate there. Limited offerings of a limited menu as they gear up; just Items 3-7 off their menu today. I had the spicy beef noodle soup, which was good but not great--decent (and actually a bit spicy) broth, large slices of a tender and tasty beef and al dente noodles which did more for texture than flavor [they neither imparted nor partook of much flavor vis-a-vis the broth) and two pieces of the beef roll--which were just ok. They hope to have dumplings up and running by next week and the rest of the items (including rice--not sure why that would take longer) the following week or two. If you are in the area, and in the mood for an asian noodle soup, it is not a bad option...at least until Yamadaya opens up on Washington near Sepulveda and blows them away! Speaking of which, Yamadaya now has signage up, though clearly still needs interior work.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: New Trial
                              PaulF Jul 20, 2011 04:32 PM

                              From someone who has never experienced the original --

                              My family ate at 101 a week or two ago. We sampled the spicy beef soup and the beef rolls, purely because I gleaned those were the go to items from reading this message board.

                              The first batch of soup we took to our table had ice cold beef in hot broth. We had to send it back and they gave us a new one. We thought it was okay, but not nearly as good as I thought it would be given the hype. It was a decent beef soup, with a bit of spice, no more no less.

                              The beef rolls were okay, but they can't be as good as the original because no one would come on the message board and wax sublime over them. If I want beef wrapped in something, I'll go to Sanchez for an asada burrito.

                              The Fox Hills Mall is my neighborhood -- I go there all the time. But I never really eat there. Unless I'm starving I probably still won't eat there. (When I'm starving and near the mall I go to Sorrento's for a sandwich or something.)

                            2. l
                              LADave Jul 23, 2011 11:48 AM

                              This may be a little off-thread, but I liked the Pho place in Culver City on Sepulveda. I googled and found "Pho Show" so that's probably it. a block or so south of Culver Blvd, west side of street. It has mixed reviews on Yelp, but the broth was very good the night I went. Of course you can go down to Gardena and find a lot more choices.

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