A Daily Gluttony blog just wouldn't be a Daily Gluttony blog without the irreverent food/work combo posts so here goes.
My job kinda rocks.
But interestingly enough, not very many people understand what it is that I do without having worked in the retail industry. My own mom to this day couldn't tell you exactly what I do. She still tells her old Chinese mom friends that her daughter works in Finance. Usually I am referred to as a Financial Analyst but I've heard myself being labeled a Financial Planner too. Her friends then nod in approval because it's something they can understand. No offense to any of you financial analysts or planners out there, but I didn't shed an insane amount of blood, sweat and tears for years in the retail industry for nothing. No way--my job is so much cooler because:
1) I get to work with fashion and other cool stuff.
2) I get paid to go shopping.
3) I get paid to stay updated on fashion, style, and pop culture news.
4) I am not required to travel.
5) I get to see a bunch of private music shows.
6) I get to listen to music and watch music videos all day.
7) I can wear jeans and 5" platform stilettos to work and not get reprimanded for dressing inappropriately. Visible tattoos and piercings are completely acceptable.
8) I work with a lot of both interesting and nice people.
My mom and her friends would totally not get why reasons 1-8 would make any one think they'd hit the job hunting jackpot. But they would totally get why I'd love my job because of reasons 9 and 10...
9) At the end of the day, I'm doing what I do best which is being a numbers and data nerd.
Things involving math have a decent position on the career totem poles inside my mom's and her friends' heads. High up on that same totem pole are stuff like "doctor," "dentist," "lawyer," "investment banker," "engineer." Bonus points if one had such a career and lived at home with their parents at the same time.
10) I work near a bunch of good food.
If my mom was able to meet me for lunch one day, I'd skip having her meet everyone at the office and instead take her to lunch at one of my favorite weekday lunch spots No. 1 Noodle House in Rowland Heights.
No. 1 Noodle House is nothing more than a small space with a counter at Rowland Heights' Yes Plaza. The official menu is in Chinese but there are large photos and English names of the restaurant's most popular selections behind the counter. If, like me, you're not a Mandarin speaker and/or the person behind the counter happens to be English-challenged, just point or talk in broken Mand-glish like I have in the past. Find a table in the indoor seating area to the right or at one of the patio tables outside and someone will bring your order to you. I like sitting outside and being surrounded by Yes Food Court's faux Neo-Classical facades--it makes me feel like I'm on vacation at Disneyland. Or Europe. Or Euro-Disney.
Despite how much I like my job, there are still days where I feel like my head is going to explode from crunching too many numbers. My brow gets furrowed and my face gets all squished up from thinking too hard. On such days, I know I can count on the spicy options at No. 1 Noodle House to clear my head up and relax my forehead. Take that, Botox.
On colder days, I usually opt for their spicy beef noodle soup, niu rou mian, to warm my belly and clear my sinuses. I've heard conflicting reviews about these with critics saying that the soup's bland and lacks spice and/or depth which fortunately for me, has never been the case. Sure, it's not the best I've had, but its rich, beefy broth is fine by me. Tender chunks of beef and pickled greens help to round the whole thing out. If you're worried about the broth not being bold enough, be sure to tell the counterperson that you want it spicy. Usually they'll ask what your preferred level of spiciness is, but in case they don't, just tell them.
When it comes to wontons in chili oil and dan dan mian, my heart still belongs to Shufeng Garden (in the form of Zhong's Dumplings) down the street, but unfortunately, Shufeng Garden doesn't have patio seating where you can work on your tan whilst sweating out chili oil. That doesn't mean that No. 1 Noodle House doesn't make decent versions of the two dishes, however.
Their wontons in chili oil are perky porky pillows that really pack a punch in its glistening orange chili oil bath and sprinkling of scallions and peanuts. A word of advice though: don't take them to-go if you can help it, else the wonton wrappers tend to turn quite doughy.
On warmer afternoons, which is usually the case in Rowland Heights, my dish of choice is the dan dan mian--a bowl of warm chili-oil, ground pork and peanuts slathered over a bed of cool noodles. Mix it all up for a bowl of absolute carby goodness that packs a nice spicy punch. As with the wontons in chili oil, these noodles should be eaten on the spot.
Regardless of what size noodles you get (No. 1 Noodle House offers them in a small or large size), all three of these dishes can be had for under $20 which I imagine would make my mom quite proud of me for finding such a gem in the same neighborhood that my paychecks come from.
"My daughter's a financial analyst and really good at math, and she works near a lot of good, cheap Asian restaurants," my mom can say with a smile. Mom's happy. Her friends are happy.
And I'm happy because of numbers 1-10 above and because my mom and her friends are happy. And that's all that really matters.
No. 1 Noodle House
18180 Colima Rd. #B (Yes Plaza)
Rowland Heights, CA 91748
Be sure to read Mmm-Yoso's, Naked Sushi's and Hungrybunny's reviews of No. 1 Noodle House too!