My favorite staple of Taiwanese cuisine has gotta be their spicy beef noodle soup. It's executed to perfection at all sorts of grimy hole-in-the-wall places in the native country, but vexingly difficult to find a an accurate version of around here.
This is the way i remember it: The broth is spicy, oily, and very aromatic with strong notes of star anise. The meat (i forget the cut, but it's often cut with a lot of tendon and cartilage) is slow braised for long hours in some soy-marinade until it falls apart in your mouth. The noodles, on the thin side and chewy. And the whole thing dressed with copious pickled mustard greens.
I've found some places in the greater NY that do one or another of the elements well.. For example, the various Lanzhou hand pulled noodle places have the right noodle consistency, but the broth is sadly one-dimensional and the meat nothing to speak of. Excellent Porkchop House has the closest broth rendition so far, but the noodles are typical and meat only slightly better than average. Ajisen noodle serves a ramen entree with one of the best tendon-y cuts of meat, but isn't really a beef noodle soup. Even in Flushing (i've tried at 66 Lu's and in the Flushing Mall) which seems most promising, something has always been missing somewhere.
I have the most hope for the Queens area, but basically I'm looking for an authentic Taiwanese style beef noodle soup that has the above elements. Recommendations, please?