Finding authentic Chinese food on the Westside is always a challenge. Finding authentic Chinese food that includes steamed soup dumplings on the Westside is even a tougher task. Sure, there’s ROC Kitchen, but the waits are long and it’s pricey (compared to to the restaurants in San Gabriel). When you have a daughter that just eats the dumpling wrapper but not the filling, it’s not worth it. That’s why 101 Noodle Express, located in the food court of the Westfield Culver City mall, was such a find for us.
101 Noodle Express started in Alhambra and is famous for introducing the beef roll to the hungry masses. Beef, cilantro, scallions and hoisin sauce are rolled in sheets of pancakes for a tasty treat. Unfortunately, I don’t like cilantro and try not to eat beef too often, my daughter doesn’t like either and my husband won’t eat beef so the beef rolls are wasted on us. If you like all those ingredients, the beef roll is heaven!
The steamed soup dumplings at 101 Noodle Express are passable. They aren’t as delicate as the ones over at Din Tai Fung and the meat quality isn’t as high, but it makes up for it in location and much shorter wait – both key factors when you have hungry kid to feed.
We tried the fried shrimp and spinach pan fried dumplings, which had one lone piece of shrimp in each dumpling. I should have taken a pic of the filling to show how skimpy it was on shrimp.
The best bang for your buck are the scallion pancakes. I’m used to places where you get two, maybe three, pancakes to an order. Here you get several thin sheets of scallion pancakes. There were so many that we couldn’t finish them all.
The menu is fairly extensive and includes noodles, rice dishes and various entrees, in addition to the dumplings.
The original outpost of 101 Noodle Express in Alhambra recently was closed due to vermin infestation. However I’m happy to say that the branch in the Westfield Century City mall has a clean health inspection record and sports an “A” health rating. BONUS! If you’re at the Westfield Culver City mall and want something more authentic than Panda Express, 101 Noodle Express has what you seek. On the Eastside? Go to the Arcadia branch which has a clean “A” health inspection record. Why take chances?
Location – Westfield Culver City 6000 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City, 90230. Other locations in Alhambra, Arcadia, Irvine and Monterey Park.
Website – http://101noodleexpress.com
Kid-Friendly – Yes
Kid’s Menu – No
Pesco-Vegetarian Friendly – Yes
Vegan/Vegetarian Friendly – Yes
Gluten-Free Options – Yes