I had a chance to do a preview tasting of dishes from the upcoming CHUBBY NOODLE by owner Pete Mrabe of Don Pisto’s fame—and let’s just say, “Lucky me!” To recap, Chubby Noodle is going to be pop-up dinner service inside the bar Amante Tue-Sat from 6pm-10pm, available to stay or take out.
The menu will be divided up in three sections: Hot, Cold, and Fried Chicken. You’ll be able to get oysters on the half shell (they’re always such beauties at Don Pisto’s, so I expect the same here), silky yellowfin tuna tartare with macadamia and sweet onion that you scoop up with puffy, fried garlic chips, and there will be two kinds of ramen: pork and mushroom ramen for $9, with slow-roasted pork, fresh shiitakes, poached egg, and scallions, and a seafood ramen for $11—we tried one with wild gulf prawns, garlic, charred scallions, and butter corn. The ramen was delicious—it had springy noodles, Pete makes a rich stock, and is using quality ingredients (like Snake River pork and sustainable seafood).
And just wait until you try the fried chicken, mother of G-O-D. It’s crazy-juicy (he uses Mary’s chicken), with a crisp and flavorful exterior that just shatters. My dining partner and I both kind of freaked out over the chicken—it’s really out of hand. You’ll be able to get 10 pieces for $24 (with 3 sides) and a 20-piece bucket for $44 with 5 sides—it’s all wings, drums, and thighs, plus two side sauces (chile sauce and soy dipping sauce). Sides will include items like kimchee coleslaw, steamed white rice, and wait until you try the charred (and peppery) corn polenta. There will also be a couple sandwiches (one will be with the fried chicken, oh you betcha), and possibly some dumplings as well. The launch is looking like September 9th—follow Chubby Noodle on Twitter for updates about when you’ll be able to attack a bucket o’ that chicken. 570 Green St. at Stockton.
The famed Chubby Noodle fried chicken. Photo: © tablehopper.com.