Noodle House, Monterey Park

A Restaurant Meal Experience.

A friend here in Pasadena  and I were looking for some good cooking.  It had to be a place where at least one of us had yet to visit & soup was on the menu.

Checked out Yelp and saw a 4/5 star review for the Noodle House in Monterey Park. Including 4 stars from one Yelper I tend to trust.  Okay, that’s it.  So, off we went south into Monterey Park for a late lunch.

Eating out:  It’s an Adventure!

When we finally found the place just past 2pm last weekday afternoon, except for us, the restaurant was empty.  Just a brunch of lifeless workers standing around. We gave them a wakeup call with our visit.

Their body language seem to say, “Who are you: people?  C u s t o m e r s?!?  Who let the customers in?!!  Who, Who??!”    smile_secret   I think we wooda received a more positive reaction had we told them we were with the government and we are here to help them – the county restaurant health inspectors.

 

P1020710

 

P1020709

 

NH is located in one of the many strip malls in the area. Alright, let’s skip the details and get down to the points and bottom line.

Our order: Shredded Chicken Noodle & Hot & Sour Soups. Tea, Cold Shredded Seaweed, and the Combination Seafood Dumplings.

Cold Shredded Seaweed: A nice portion. Enough for 2-3 people. Average.

Tea: your usual House Asian restaurant tea. Ok

Oh, uh, no photos this time…I was so disappointed with what we ordered I lost even the small amount of inspiration to wanna take some pics.

Hot & Sour Soup: Bland. Watery or Watered down. I’m not fond of HSS & this reaffirmed my opinion it.  Probably was the worse I’ve ever had.  (By coincidence, just the week before, my BFF and I had maybe the best HSS I ever tried at Newport Chinese Seafood in San Gabriel.)  My companion could eat only  1/3 of this soup and left the rest- after craving for soup that day.  “So So…”  Poor.

Shredded Chicken Noodle Soup: Packed with noodles and mushrooms. Not much broth nor chicken. What broth there was seemed watery, unseasoned.  Bland. I ate only about 20% of the it.  Poor.

The table chili so common at Asian restaurants was very good. Yet even this couldn’t bring our soups to life. Good.

As we ate you could feel, and see, the occasional stares of the workers. You can only imagine what they may have been thinking as we ate their food. 

Our Dumplings (Combination Seafood) came out last: steamed, smoking hot. The skin seemed a bit disheveled and fell apart too easily. Maybe a quick burst of reheating, overheating – or leftovers?  Dunno. These didn’t seem fresh or made to order.  Poor.

Prices as you can see above, average around $6 per food item and are in line with restaurants of this type in the San Gabriel Valley.  Thus, while this is good,  you much rather have what you’re putting into your stomach be the highlight of your meal than what’s being taken out of your wallet/purse.

Our meal.  So disappointing from the opening moment, I was uninspired to even take photos.  Yes, the food would have looked better than its taste. Barely.  Our meal experience at Noodle House is in the minority.   A matter of taste. Hopefully, (not for us) they just had an off day, the chef or other cook was sick, or just became lazy when it came to preparing our meal.

One meal.  First impression, unfairly or not, often become the Final impression.  We’ve both had more than our share of Asian cuisine.   My very worthy dining companion had a group meal here in the past and liked it back then.  This time the comment was: “So, so.”  Times three. Let me finish what my restaurant companion started and really meant to say:  “…bad.”  This experience has prepared me for anything. Bloody sausage anyone?

Btw, I read on the Yelp website about the ownership changing this past January. This was from a person who previously rated it 5/5 stars but now his/her latest rating was down to  3/5 stars, i.e., Average.

Restaurants are a crazy biz. My companion & I both have restaurant biz experience from different angles. If our experience has actually become the norm for Noodle House, or their best days have passed them bye, then they should ask for assistance from a Chinese restaurant consultant to help in the kitchen and the dining room. They and any other business shouldn’t be satisfied with the status quo or being just average at best.

Too many more meals like this will lead me down the road to becoming a crazy dog. A sad, sad tail indeed.

Have you had a happy meal at the Noodle House?

 

Ok, enuf writing.  Gotta go onto better things.

 

Rose

Advertisements

25 responses to “Noodle House, Monterey Park

  1. What a journey into the seedy underbelly of the Noodle House of Monterey Park!! Thanks to your wonderful description, I am in no rush to eat their hot and sour soup any time soon…. I despise HSS soup anyway, so I’m probably never ordering it anywhere for that matter but I digress!
    Well played dog!

    • Whitney, when you come to Pasadena I’ll be sure to treat you to something much better. I pray one day you use your wunderful artistry to become known as The Painter of Cafes!

    • I know about JYTH & it should be much better than NH. Sounds like your sex life, JM, needs something new. Eating good food simultaneously while having loving sex might be an irresistibly pleasurable combo.
      Josie, thank you for your input.

    • KCher, you’re probably the bravest in your family. If you didn’t know you were eating beef stomach, in your stomach, you wood probably say, “Hey, this is delicious! What is it?”

    • PDP, I didn’t plan to go to MPk for bad noodles. A decent sandwich can be had just about anywhere. In fact I can get very good sandwiches within walking distance! But, bcuz of you, I will let you know when I head north to visit your CC!

  2. Have you ever tried Wonton Time that was located on Garfield & Valley, across from The Hat? It closed about a year ago. I was so upset because it was my favorites place in all of the San Gabriel Valley!

    • Unfortunately no, Jian. Restaurants open & close everyday for one reason or another. Some are very good but close anyway. Others, you can’t understand how they stay in business year after year! In WTT case it appears to have been a financial/mgmt problem despite being very popular. I’m sorry for your loss, Jian. So which is your current fav SGV go to place? Now, work on those desserts!

  3. Check Chowhound.com’s LA board for the Rowland Heights version of this place. It was much hyped then, it is over-hyped (by one person, really) now! Noodle House, even before the ownership change, was mediocre at best, insipid at worst.

    • Tony, I don’t think your blog ever reviewed this joint. Sounds like your saying my experience is more the norm and it’s been overrated by the others.
      E: you’re right about Pho Minh. You went, Again??
      I’m more motivated to get the word out about restaurants serving a bad meals which they think is worth paying for.

  4. How about posting about Pho Minh, the best Pho ever! I just went. You make it seem that we go on food adventures where the food is mediocre. We have some really good ones!

    • VH, it’s usually hit or miss when it comes to good value. Even the so-called “essential” places have their problems.
      AH, I could say, when they serve us a good one! I have some good ones. Or, certainly better than what was received from this joint.
      MF: it takes one to know one, Professor, you of so few words!

  5. Well, thanks for being the canary in the coal mine on this one. There are far too many spectacular Asian joints around here for me to ever go to Noodle House based on what you have to say.

    Pasadena Adjacent: I believe you are referring to Oak Tree Inn. I have been there a few times; it’s good but nothing special (although you are correct, it’s always packed.) I am a bigger fan of Golden China a block north, just north of the Vons and Round Table Pizza. Their lunch specials in particular are unbeatable.

    • JustIn: you should go to NH to see if our meal was just an aberration! For me bad 1st impressions are usually final.
      JS, I like good ole chicken noodle, souplantation, and some of the Japanese ramen & Asian noodle soups in the area. Barley is one ingredient I love in my soups. But, otherwise I don’t know if there are any “Soup” restaurants like there are seafood, pizza, dumplings, etc places.
      PA, was this joint packed with Asians or non?? I don’t go to So Pasa when I’m thinking Chinese food when San Gabriel, Alhambra, Rosemead, etc are next door.

  6. Oh nooooo! a very sad tail and it cost you tread as well. (lack of customers? run dog run)

    Have you tried that chinese restaurant in So Pas west side of Fair Oaks below the Pavillons? that place is always jammed