This location is a hipper cousin to the Decatur spot, with red walls, black, glitter-flecked tables, an ethnic mural and plenty of seating. The outside tables shared between the other locations are a hit for those wanting to soak up rays. If you aren't in the mood to scout out parking (there's only a few designated spaces up front), then call ahead and pop in for a quick meal to go.
What we ate: Along with the more sophisticated look comes a better prepared menu than the Decatur Noodle. The combination of heavy, oily entrees with hefty prices never quite gelled with me, especially when Doc Chey's was offering the same thing for less. But the Midtown location seems to have cleaned up its act. The yaki soba bowl with chicken ($6 lunch, $7.50 dinner) is a huge heaping of buckwheat noodles and tamari sauce that also includes plenty of soybeans, carrots and other vegetables. The traditional Japanese carnival food is prepared with finesse. The curry noodle bowl ($6-$8.50) gets the same treatment. But not everything involves noodles. The lunch rice bowls of spicy basil chicken ($6.50) or vegetables ($6.50) -- a combo of sweet tamari and spicy chili sauce -- were delicious.
The same bowls show up for a few dollars more during dinner as well as a slew of other options. The Asian pork stirfry was $9 but it really didn't involve much more work than the bowls of rice or noodles. It's a plate of thinly sliced pork marinated with garlic and hoisin served with a side of sauteed vegetables. If you're looking for a bargain, beware. The prices are steep to begin with for the simple fare you get but creep up even higher at dinner for virtually the same lunch menu items.
Service: You may be waiting awhile if you take a seat outside. We had to let someone know we were actually waiting to place an order. Inside, things are little more swift, but servers are still getting their legs and learning the menu.
Cheapest item: Several of the appetizers and small plate selections will fill you up in a pinch. The lettuce wraps with beef, chicken or tofu in a spicy black bean sauce are just five bucks as are the vegetable dumplings.
Most expensive item: When noodles disappear it gets pricey, like a ginger steamed sea bass filet served with kimchee for $14.50. Seems a bit out of the ballpark for the restaurant's eat-and-go followers.
@TheGorgeousJR: "[It is] very inexpensive; we sell it at the shop. You can get it…
Where can you buy caul fat?
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Love pork belly.
Some food just doesn't photograph well, even if it is tasty.