I had mentioned ASJ as one of the best places for Niu Rou Mian in the bay area before talking on the QQ Noodle thread. After trying it out several more times, I can really confirm that it is one of the best. When I mean best, I mean that it is probably the closest thing to the beef noodles found in the streets of Taipei (or other parts of Taiwan).
Most Chinese restaurants try to have a version of niu rou mian on their menu since it is such an iconic item, especially for people from Taiwan. It is almost on par with what Ramen means in Japan, but most places cannot do a good version even if their life depended on it. Either they use store bought noodles that turn limpy, or have watered down broth that tastes worse than instant noodle versions, or the meat is so dry or tough that you'd rather eat a beef jerky.
But not at ASJ, they have perfected all three components and brings them together like no other places. I can say it even usurps its former twin of A&J in Cupertino. It is on par with the now closed Fortune Garden in Union City, who used to make the best version of it.
And just one other note, the "official name" of this dish Niu Rou Mian is "Beef Noodle" and not Beef Noodle Soup as it is sometimes called. It is not a soup, but a noodle dish (which happens to have soup).
Full review and pictures:
2006 Taipei International Beef Noodle Festival
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