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Fox Hills Branch of 101 Noodle Express Re-Tools

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It has been a few weeks since I suspended my futile quest for the elusive turkey roll at the Fox Hills Mall branch of 101 Noodle Express, so I thought I would give it another try. However instead of being told that the turkey rolls were not yet available but would be available "next week" , I found the item off the menu altogether. In fact, the menu is now significantly different. While the beef rolls and beef noodle soup are still there, they have been joined by chicken dishes (minced and teppan cooked), and more reasonably priced combination plates. For example, you can get two small beef rolls and minced chicken and teppan chicken over rice for $6.99, the price of three small beef rolls by themselves. Actually it almost looks like there has been a change of ownership, as there is a 15 percent "grand opening" discount banner by the counter, along with the new menu. However, signage still references the 101 Noodle Express master website, which does include the Fox Hills location, so it's clearly still part of the family. And the beef rolls are still just as good.

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  1. This is called the "Westside effect" ...

    1 Reply
    1. re: ipsedixit

      It is true that authentic Asian food that lands in Westside malls has been dumbed down, such as the defunct Manna also at Fox Hills and Ajisen Ramen in the Century City mall. However I don't think we should give too much credit to WLA as this is a broader issue. For example, the Ajisen in the San Francisco Center on Market St. is similarly dumbed. Likewise for the branch of Sam Woo that was once located in the Metro Center in Costa Mesa, and apparently the Happy Family in Costa Mesa.

    2. Did they dump the dumplings that were never actually offered from their menu or have they finally stepped up to the plate to serve them?

      3 Replies
      1. re: New Trial

        i've had dumplings there twice and they were very good. ThoughI have not been back since the reboot.

        1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

          They dumped the dumplings. I went by today and asked. In other news: Red Ribbon by the Best Buy has shuttered.

          1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

            Ironic about the dumplings since their corporate signage at the mall refers to "noodles and dumplings".

      2. Yep, I've been too, and beef rolls are still great. Also, they have the "green sauce", which is the cilantro/sesame oil/chili mixture that is so good. You have to ask for it, but they gave me as much as I want. Service is really nice and they have been very accomodating and willing to please each time I've been.

        We did get a bit of the minced chicken, and I found it OK but my son liked it a lot, so as ipse points out, its clearly for westside (aka 7 year old) tastes.

        Dan Dan Mian, though, is gone. I never even tried it, though others found it wanting.

        I still think that nearly everybody walking by has no idea what the restaurant is doing or offering. It is only the "noodle" in the name which even stops them and gets them to look at the menu. I think its a tough problem, IMO overcome only with sampling and that old fashioned art of "busking"...

        But this remains the place I eat whenever I'm in the mall, and happily so.

        1. I visited back in October/November in order to check out the oddly random Chinese inroads in that mall (Bird Pick, the non-Chinese extension of Wing Hop Fung in Monterey Park and 101 Noodle Express).

          Even back then, I was confused by that Grand Opening banner which, at that time, was advertising 20% off through mid November. (They had already been open for several months at that point). Interesting that it's still up.

          I too asked about dumplings as they were not serving them. No answer. The menu was bizarre-- it was essentially 101's take on Panda Express, with the bizarre addition of beef rolls. I can see that they're trying to find their niche in that market. But really, what's wrong with focusing on only making excellent dumplings, noodles and beef rolls- all of which are not unusual or strange to a non-Chinese crowd?

          Mr Taster

          1. How timely!

            http://www.laweekly.com/2012-01-12/ea...

            Mr Taster

            1. Thanks for the updates. I was there a few months back and found that they quit the dumplings, so I never went back. And they were still serving the french fries, which really put me off. I will try the new menu sans fries.

              Having just read the LA Weekly Gold article on Fox Hills, I agree it is the best and most interesting food court around. Thanks, Mr. Taster.

              1. I actually dug up a website for 101. Ordinarily I would have added it to the place link in the database. But since the site has made the choice to drop all the place links into the great electronic void soon I'll just put it here in the body of my post.

                http://www.101noodleexpress.com/

                1. Yeah... the dan dan was decent for the Westside but no great loss. And if I remember correctly the dumplings are gone too (also no big loss.) They are serving a decent Taiwanese beef noodle soup now.

                  And I totally agree with Chandavki... the new combo plates are a ton of food for the price, and better than most of the other options in that food court. (Plus you get the beef roll!)

                  You can see photos here if you want:

                  http://midtownlunch.com/los-angeles/2...

                  1. Decided to bump this thread instead of making a new one. I went for lunch today and they have retooled AGAIN - they still have the teppan chicken and minced chicken from the last revision of the menu, but they have re-expanded their menu. The dan dan mian is still gone, but they now have beef/spare ribs/oxtail/lamb noodle soup, pan fried fish and shrimp/spinach dumplings, chicken and lamb skewers, fish and chicken cutlets, scallion pancakes, and what appear to be xiao long bao (beef or pork) as "steamed mini buns"...

                    I had the long beans and minced pork over noodles, it tasted pretty good but my noodles were all stuck together. Oh, and the beef rolls are as good as ever (they now offer chicken rolls, same price). The manager/owner came up to me as I was reading through the new menu, she says they are going to start offering a pork cutlet next week.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Argyle of Sock

                      Thanks for the info. I will give them another try.

                      1. re: Argyle of Sock

                        Ooo! Great news! I have been getting one beef roll and then getting some veggie sushi from the place nearby every now and again in hopes they get their act together!

                        --Dommy!

                        1. re: Argyle of Sock

                          That's exciting news... might have to hit that up tomorrow!

                          1. re: Argyle of Sock

                            Bumping this back up as I ate there last night and am starting to think this place is getting its act together. The chicken rolls were fresh, tasty and not too oily; the scallion pancakes are gradually acquiring enough scallions, and the magisterial green condiment worked wonders. I bugged the manager/owner re: the dan-dan noodles; he said nobody ate them, but he strongly recommends the minced chicken noodles (zha jiang mein).

                            He said pork is actually traditional for this dish but most people seem to prefer chicken. I will have to give this a try.

                          2. Thinking of going to 101 Noodle Express in Culver City tomorrow, Presidents' Day. Anyone know their hours? I called but it rings then beeps then gives a fax buzz. For a first-timer, any recommended favorite dishes besides the beef roll?

                            11 Replies
                            1. re: nosh

                              Heard from someone on this site that they have closed. I do not know if that is true or not. Can someone confirm?

                              1. re: wienermobile

                                I just saw here in another thread that Kyochon in that location had closed but I don't recall anyone posting about 101 closing?

                                1. re: wienermobile

                                  It's still open... infact, they get a good crowd since they decided to focus on dumplings and noodles...

                                  The thing is, the dumplings taste like plastic bag. The noodles taste water logged. Any veggies they use come out of freezer... I mean the long bean dish is a PURE travesty.... It makes ROC seem worth the money... and I really was not pleased with my one visit to ROC.

                                  *LE SIGH!!!*

                                  --Dommy!

                                  1. re: Dommy

                                    Dommy!,

                                    What does "plastic bag" taste like? I've tried making it at home, to no avail ...

                                    :-)

                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                      Wow -- My alternative was to try to get to ROC fairly early for lunch. More convenient for me in Westwood than the Fox Hills Mall, but ROC's menu seems significantly more expensive.

                                      Maybe The Palace (formerly VIP Wilshire at Barrington) for dim sum, or Hu's for the lunch combos...

                                      1. re: nosh

                                        We were really surprised with the Palace's Dim Sum, much better than anything in Chinatown... but still pales in comparison to the best in SGV...

                                        But IMHO they do have the best XLB on the westside... I mean, ROC's version was executed well, but they are missing that lusciousness that is the whole point of XLB...

                                        --Dommy!

                                        1. re: Dommy

                                          That location has been so up and down over the years. The original VIP Harbor Seafood was the best, amazingly exceeding its sister restaurant in San Gabriel. Then it was sold and went down the drain. Then it was sold again and rechristened The Palace, resulting in a bit of an uptick. Then sold again and now fairly decent.

                                          1. re: Chandavkl

                                            I still miss Royal Star for dim sum on the Westside. Wasn't as good as SGV but still better than VIP Harbor (in my opinion).

                                            1. re: PeterCC

                                              Hard to believe that the mid-1990s marked the zenith of Chinese food on the Westside with Royal Star, J.R. Seafood and the original VIP Harbor Seafood. I was a happy camper back then.

                                              1. re: Chandavkl

                                                Bad timing - I think they'd do much better now that more folks can appreciate their level of cuisine.

                                      2. re: ipsedixit

                                        LOL!!! Oh you know what I'm talking about... You'd think they would at LEAST get frozen dumplings from their stores in SGV... but the ones they use at the CC location was so industrial... They truly are just phoning it in...

                                        --Dommy!