Noodles from everywhere, in Alhambra.
Truth be told, I was always wary of Noodle World. The first time I saw it, was walking along Colorado Blvd. in the heart of Old Town Pasadena. Now, as I’ve since come to learn (the hard way), that the food served along Colorado is average at best, with a few notable exceptions.
Noodle World struck me as a faux-Asian place that catered to, frankly…white folks. That wasn’t my scene. I ain’t going. (As a rule, I try to go to places that I’d take my Godmother to, just so you know).
But Noodle World had a branch in Alhambra, and…well…Alhambra (as a whole) is place I trust when it comes to Chinese Cooking, and if it’s doing well here, it must mean something.
So I pull into the parking lot, and…well…it’s packed. Wall to wall. Not a space to be seen.
Okay, I pull out of the lot, and pull onto Seventh Street, a residential block. No signs telling me I can’t, so here’s where the sled stays while I get my noodle on.
Walking up to it, Noodle World looks like an old Denny’s, and old–
–Wait a minute. It’s an old Bob’s Big Boy. How do I know?
Okay. Okay. Makes sense. A lot of the places in Alhambra have been converted over from something else into something new. I’ve seen it across the street. I’ve seen it at Savoy Kitchen.
So I’m ten minutes into my visit, and we’re already off to a bad start. Utensils given to the party to the left of me. Utensils given to the old couple to the right of me.
I’m sitting here utensil free.
And it’s probably not a good sign that the old couple to the right of me had to go fish for a menu all on their own.
At least I got seated super promptly, and my order was taken quickly. This, amidst a super packed house, so points there…
But it does seem far more disorganized for a Restaurant in Alhambra.
And I’m not even going to bring up the fact that they gave me…these:
Maybe it’s because of the chaos that it takes time for the Noodle World machine to get going, but once it finally does things work. Things start to work.
To a point…
Look, it turns out my initial instinct about Noodle World from the Pasadena days, may have been right on target. It’s just not that extraordinary. I can’t believe the business it’s picking up, but…see for yourself. This place is packed. People are everywhere eating up the most ordinary Asian cuisine I’ve had in a while.
Seriously, this place is not even a cut above P.F. Chang’s. It’s bland food for the masses.
There’s not a word I can type that’ll keep people from coming here, but…you’ve been warned. Meh.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: I started off with the Vegetable Egg Rolls, and…what can I say, they were your basic Egg-rolls. Nothing to report here.
But I’m in a place called Noodle World, they serve all kinds of Noodles right (I mean, it’s in the name so…you figure that…)
First off, Noodle World has an abnormally sized menu. Lots and lots of stuff, virtually every noodle from everywhere in Asia is represented somewhere here.
But I’m in Alhambra. I want Chinese. I see the the Hong Kong Pan Fried Noodles, and I decide to go for it.
I shouldn’t have.
I’ve had Pan Fried Noodles. Pan Fried Noodles are friends of mine. Noodle World, you served me something that was basically Mongolian Beef, aka the most uninteresting mock Asian dish ever created.
Are you freakin’ kidding me???
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Nothing too strange about this place. Noodle World, for all of it’s faults, is a pretty straight ahead operation. Talk to your hostess. Sit down. Eat. Enjoy.
PARKING: Noodle World does have it’s own lot in back of the restaurant, but it was packed to the gills when I got there. I mean there ZERO spaces. When I got into the restaurant itself, I could see why.
So, as I said, I parked along 7th, in the residential sections. There weren’t any permit warnings, so I felt relatively safe. But parking in the residential area isn’t something I try to do normally, so be polite and be careful. Try not to be a dick about it.
Noodle World (Alhambra)
700 W. Valley Blvd.
Alhambra, CA 91803
Tel: (626) 282-8855
Daily: 10:00 am – 1:00 am