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Need a new place for Chinese beef rolls... :(

Like many here, I've long been a fan of the beef rolls at 101 Noodle Express in the SGV. Sadly, on my last few visits, I've noticed that the quality has slid very far downhill. The first time, I thought maybe it was a fluke, maybe they just took exception to my shoddy Chinese language skills and decided to stint me. But after the third incident of sad, anemic, beef rolls, I have no choice but to conclude that they have decided that they no longer need to try. What were once glorious, plump rolls bursting with beef, cilantro, and that wonderful sauce, are now less than half the girth, with a single layer (barely) of beef and a mere swipe of sauce. I brought some home for my sister, and they confused her - she thought they were vegetarian at first because she couldn't detect the meat.

So on to the next place. The great thing about the SGV is that there's always something new and always someone trying to be better. So any tips out there for the next new place for beef rolls? :)

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  1. i was at 101 about a month ago and felt much the same way about the beef roll.

    i like flavor garden across the street. while i haven't tried their beef roll, everything else i've had there has been pretty good. i bet their beef roll is at the very least solid.

    10 Replies
    1. re: barryc

      Flavor Garden's BR is beyond solid.

      I still really enjoy the rendition at Mama's Kitchen, especially when I'm fiending for some cholestrol and suet.

      1. re: TonyC

        all three places are pretty much within a 50-100 yard radius. get two friends, each of you get a beef roll to go and meet & eat in the parking lot - or sit at one of the tables in front of lee's. side by side taste test.

        i don't anyone else mentioned it yet, but i noticed there's a new place next to 101 to the east:

        zoe cafe or cafe zoe. open til midnight during the week, 1:30 am on weekend nights.

        half the menu is drinks: teas ($3.50) milk teas ($3.75) Slush/smoothie ($4.25) & other drinks.

        food offerings include appetizers, fried rice, noodles & porridge, the most expensive being $7.99.

        seems like a takeoff of the tea place in focus plaza whose name momentarily escapes me. i want to say tea garden.

        minimum purchase: $3.25 & tax to be seated.

        1. re: barryc

          Zoe Cafe: http://www.yelp.com/biz/zoe-cafe-alha...
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/910270

          The local barbers say it's pretty decent.

          There are now 2 "Taiwanese" tea shops within 50 yards of each other, in the same plaza. Someone's going to shutter before 2014.

          1. re: TonyC

            ah. i didn't pay attention to what used to be there so the dip's grill post eluded me. thanks.

            1. re: TonyC

              zoe cafe gave up the ghost months ago.

          2. re: TonyC

            i've had the FG version twice now. it has become my favorite version.

            FG has had larger and larger lunch crowds every time i go.

             
             
            1. re: barryc

              While I loved the flavor of the FG beef roll, I found the cold temperature of the beef off putting.

              1. re: JAB

                IIRC, you've said that a couple of times now. however, in multiple orders i have yet to experience what you find to be off putting;

                1. re: barryc

                  Are you saying that your beef hasn't been cold or that you don't find cold beef in a beef roll off putting.

                  1. re: JAB

                    probably both. if the meat was cold, it didn't bother me. but then i didn't think the meat was particularly cold either.

                    try another one.

        2. In no particular order:

          - Tai Fung (Rowland Heights)
          - Ji Rong (Rosemead)
          - Flavor Garden (Alhambra)
          - Huge Tree (Monterey Park)

          Happy eating.

          1. The beef roll at Easy Earthen in Rowland Heights is quite good.

            1. Which 101 Noodle Express did you go to?

              3 Replies
              1. re: raytamsgv

                Hi! I went to the one on Valley and New. Ah, I should have gone next door to Mama's Kitchen too! Thanks for all the tips. I particularly love the beef roll crawl concept - this shall be done. I shall report back!

                1. I went to the Atlantic Blvd location about a month ago and the Valley location maybe 2 weeks ago.

                  The Atlantic Blvd one left much to be desired. The bing part was the problem, though, not the beef. I'm guessing it was either undercooked or had been sitting around for awhile, or maybe both.

                  When I went to the Valley one 2 weeks ago, the rolls were perfect and with heaping portions of beef. Maybe they're just inconsistent?

                  On the other hand, I went to Huge Tree 3-4 months ago, and didn't like their beef rolls at all (which is largely why I've never gone back). If I remember correctly, the problem was with the bing. Not flakey enough.