Early reports from the new Culver City branch of 101 Noodle Express: It’s good, more expensive than its San Gabriel Valley cousins, and only a little dumbed down.
The menu is a limited version of its SGV counterparts’: beef and turkey rolls, dumplings, noodle soups, a few rice dishes. There are french fries, too. The beef noodle soup is good, and passes on all fronts: good beef, good broth, and good noodles, says Chandavkl.
Beef rolls are comparable to the SGV versions, but a little different—a bit drier, perhaps less oily, with the same basic flavor. This may be a concession to Westside sensibilities, says Chandavkl, as is, surely, the newly invented turkey roll. But beware: It’s pricier than the SGV rolls.
Adds Mattapoisett in LA, the beef soup is default set to a diminished, Westside-compatible level of spiciness. With a little effort, though, you can convince the kitchen to up the chile oil.
The menu says “dumplings,” but the kitchen isn’t making them yet. But there’s dan dan mien—when has that happened on the Westside before? Better quality control is needed on the dan dan, though. “The guys behind the counter need to be apprenticed by a real chef. When the noodles were ‘finished’ boiling in the basket strainer, the guy tried to pour the noodles from the strainer into the plastic bowls—THUD, THUD, THUD. The noodles were each massive cohesive balls,” reports bulavinaka.
Nevertheless, “this is certainly the best Chinese food the Fox Hills Mall has ever had (does anybody remember the original Chinese Buffet in the mall which was cleverly named ‘Chinese Buffet’?) and ranks with the Westside’s best, so I hope they make a go of it,” says Chandavkl.
101 Noodle Express [Westside – Inland]
6000 Sepulveda Boulevard, Culver City