1919 Noodle Express
The rate of turnover at the Atlantic Times Square shopping complex in Monterey Park is high, even by SGV standards—so much so that sometimes it hardly seems worth it to change signage. The sign above new noodle specialist 1919 Noodle Express, for example, still says Nice Time Cafe, leftover from the Taiwanese restaurant that used to inhabit the space. But 1919 Noodle Express, which is an offshoot of two-year-old 1919 Lanzhou Beef Noodle in Arcadia, has the goods to stick around. Their primary focus is on beef soup, which you can get with noodles served in any of a handful of shapes from thin to thick, and from wide and flat to the triangular twisted noodles they call prisma. Those prisma are particularly fun, sturdy things with rough broth-grabbing edges and just the right amount of chew. The Chef’s Special Spicy Beef Noodle Soup is delicious and legitimately spicy, lighting up the rich base broth with pungent chiles and herbs. They also make a particularly good rendition of the Shaanxi specialty Biang Biang Noodles, with noodles that are a little lighter and bouncier than other versions around town, and come dressed with an excellent garlic-intensive chili oil topping.
How to order: Walk in or order takeout over the phone at (626) 872-1120.