101 Noodle Express was calling, and we answered. There are a few 101s around town now - three in the San Gabriel Valley and one in Culver City - but the SGV locations are often easiest, especially in late afternoon, during what's often restaurant downtime.
The beef roll is almost the stuff of legend now, a pancake that's chewy and doughy inside and slightly crisp outside, wrapped around sliced beef, cilantro, scallions and hoisin sauce. Almost a foot long and cut into six pieces, it easily feeds two or more. When the place is busy, everyone has one on their table; when it's empty, anyone who walks in the door (mostly for take-out) orders one. Dipped in chile sauce, it's just about perfect any time of day.