Restaurant of the Week: Noodle World Jr.

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Noodle World Jr., 2440 W. Arrow Route (at Monte Vista), Upland

This small chain opened a location out our way in April 2014. Technically it’s in Upland, but it’s only a couple hundred yards from the Claremont border. In fact, with Claremont McKenna right across nearby Claremont Boulevard, it’s possible Noodle World Jr. is closer to some of the campuses than any other restaurant.

Pay attention, students: Noodle World is a sit-down restaurant with locations in Alhambra, Monterey Park, Pasadena, San Marino and Westwood; Noodle World Jr., which is only in Hollywood, Downey and now Upland, is fast-casual (order at the counter) and with a limited menu.

It’s pan-Asian, with items representing China (fried rice), Japan (ramen, udon), Thailand (various noodle dishes) and Vietnam (pho). And they have boba, although not enough to satisfy a boba connoisseur. There’s seating inside as well as outdoors in a covered courtyard with a high dome roof.

I’ve been there three times so far. First time I got garlic chicken ($8.25, pictured below), which is chicken sauteed with garlic flakes, served on rice. I’ve had this at Thai restaurants like Mix Bowl and this was a very good example. I also had a Thai tea with boba ($3).

Next visit I tried the spicy beef ramen ($8.25, bottom), which has tonkotsu broth, noodles, bean sprouts, seaweed and stewed beef. I’m no ramen specialist, but this made for a satisfying meal on a cool evening. (A professor friend at the colleges calls this “an A- rendition of the classic.”) A taro smoothie with boba ($3.75) hit the spot too. Since then I’ve been back for beef steak with rice ($8.75), another winner.

This won’t replace favored Asian spots in the 626 or beyond for those who can parse ramen varieties or know regional Chinese cooking, but for a local option, especially in Asian food-poor Upland and Claremont. Noodle World Jr. is quite welcome. And I suspect it’s practically an unofficial Claremont Colleges dining hall.

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  • SAWZ

    The location is also about 200 yards north of the Montclair Police Dept.

    • davidallen909

      That’s true, it’s also close to the Montclair border.

  • Joanne Dallas

    This place seems to be claimed by three cities.

    • davidallen909

      Success has many fathers; failure is an orphan!

      • Joanne Dallas

        I will embroider this on a throw pillow very soon.

  • DebB

    I had lunch here yesterday (Sunday) and enjoyed it very much. I had a noodle dish that was a special – I think it was called Singapore Noodles. There were a few shrimp as well as little chunks of another meat – maybe pork. I liked it! My only criticism of the restaurant was that my seat was right in the line of fire of the air conditioner, and I was cold the whole time. Next time I’ll try one of the soups! Overall I enjoyed myself and will go back.

    • davidallen909

      I’ve seen that special in the window and almost ordered it last time. The air conditioner has hit me too, in the corner seat near the door.