Never heard of Noodle St? That’s because there are only two branches, in downtown Monrovia and across from Cal State Fullerton. I find this an interesting development on a number of counts. First of all, mall business has changed so much lately that a small casual operation like this could show up in a major regional mall like this. Secondly, until the Arcadia Lanzhou noodle explosion of the past few months, Noodle St was one of the few places giving you a choice of hand/knife made noodle shapes. Offhand, the only other one I could think of is Malan Noodle in Hacienda Heights, as some of the past purveyors had faded away. Lastly, with their existing locations targeting a mixed clientele, they’re more likely to be a little creative, like with this dish that looks like a beef roll, but really contains charshu.
How was this?
I have had Noodle St on my radar but I just haven’t made there yet for whatever reason. I did go to Qin West at Santa Anita Westfield and thought it was just average tasting.
The charshu roll was probably better than any beef roll I’ve had. The beef roll was pretty good too, though a lot of places make it well. Jasmine fried rice was also excellent. When we went to Taiwan last year I was caught off guard by the prevalence of sticky fried rice, since that is how it was served everywhere over there, and I never even seen it here. Noodle St’s version is very credible.
Has anyone tried any noodles at Noodle St?
they’ve since also opened a branch in old town pasadena - but i prefer to avoid places that are guaranteed a markup due to locale (rent) - like old town pasadena and the santa anita mall, etc. i attribute it to my toisan heritage
I guess I forgot to mention in the original post that the hand made noodles were excellent. Also their noodles are what seem to be driving their popularity.
I’ve had the spicy beef noodle at the Old Town Pasadena location. Decent noodles, good chew. Broth was good.
Old Town location is pretty convenient for takeout with pickup parking right in front or the nearby 90 minute garages.
I ate at the Monrovia location a few times. I tried the round, triangle, and knife-cut noodles and was happy - nice to have different levels of chewy, springy, stretchy. Triangle stood out at the time, because it was the only place I’d seen it. It was many years ago, so for most of the dishes my memory is just finding them to be good.
Certain dishes stand out in memory for what I think were purposeful takes on traditional flavors. As a second-gen, I liked the balance between satisfying familiar tastes and generating a bit of interest. I hope these unique flavors have survived as they have expanded.
I remember really interesting red oil won tons (hong you chau shou), but looking at the website now, it might have been sichuan noodles. They were like the mirror image of the din tai fung version. If the full palate of sichuan flavors were a circle, this would have been the Yin to din tai fung’s Yang. Din tai fung’s red oil leans more toward chili spice than mala, is a bit sweet, and has basically no herbal or pickled/sour notes. Noodle street was not very spicy chiliwise, but had good mala, plus a clear emphasis on the herbal and a bit of pickled something-or-other.
Beef noodle had a good broth, a dark Taiwanese style, but again with a shifted balance on the herb/spice. My mom and I liked it, a Taiwanese friend found it nice but weird.
Korean jajang noodles had good sauce, but my Korean wife found the noodles to be a poor match. I think the usual goal is noodles that are stretchy and slippery, fully cooked and eaten quickly before they get bloated. By that standard, the Chinese/Taiwanese noodle style is not soft enough, a little too coarse. But for me it was like having the southern jajang noodles I had as a kid, and substituting in the northern sauce that I discovered as an adult.
A China born co-worker was really loving the knife-cut noodles there. That was the origin of my curiosity.
Each of the locations have slightly different menus and flavor. I’m a big fan of the Santa Anita mall location - the broth is really clean and their noodles have better chew.