Noodle Theory-College Ave-Oakland
The former Double Rainbow at the corner of College and Claremont is being prepped to be a noodle restaurant. There is a sign on the door about Pan Asian fusion and sustainable meats. Does anyone have more info? The sign says open mid-January (not) and they look to be almost done with the painting.
By the way, anyone been to WoodHouse yet?
The remodeling stalled for a few months, but it looks great now. No menu up outside, but the earlier signs said they were committed to using natural, organic, and local ingredients and to accommodating a wide range of diets. I live in the neighborhood and got a wine-beer notice a while back, so I assume they're serving.
I imagine they're having finance problems. I've been to Woodhouse twice. A great replacement for Grasshoper. Wonderful menu. Loved the pork belly. BUT it is way overpriced for College Avenue. Great couple own the place. I wish them well, but at these prices they have to become a destination restaurant. I would rather go to Somerset. My 2 cents.
Saw a new sign posted yesterday. Noodle Theory opens on the 28th- 6 days a week (closed on Tuesdays).
Huh? Sunday afternoon the place was full when we drove past. Maybe that was a pre-launch party or something?
I also passed by on Sunday. The sign on the door said it was a soft opening for friends and neighbors. I didn't get a good look at the food other than a bowl of noodles on one table. Their Web site is functioning, noodletheory.com
Stopped in for lunch today and must say that I am very pleased. The space is very simple with nice furnishings, beautiful table-top and a friendly staff. There is a counter which is great for a quick bite on your own.
The prices reflect the neighborhood, so I was a little concerned about paying $8 for ja jaing mein, but the noodles were really good! Fat chewy noodles, nice dose of cucumber and green onion, and the sauce was more than ample, mildly spicy, full of flavor and very lean. (they use Niman pork). They served a small bowl of edamame with an addictive stickysweet sesame soy dressing to start.
Noodles and tea came to $12.51 with tax (cash only for now!)
I can't wait to go back and try the braised pork belly ramen in shoyu broth, the grilled beef udon in coconut lime curry broth. The waitress said that the dumplings are also really good. I have some eating to do.
We went yesterday and it was not good.
The kitchen is slow. Although there are only about 10 tables, it took about 30 minutes for the food to come out. People standing and waiting inside the door actually left as soon as they realized how long the wait would be.
Service is equally slow. They are slow to greet and seat you. Even though the dishes come out of the kitchen slowly, the dishes sit on the counter for a while before the servers notice them. On the other hand, they have no problem with rudely giving you the check while you are still eating, even when no customers are waiting. They don't take credit cards.
The edamame with the sticky sauce was silly. The sticky sauce is on the pods, which you don't eat, so you get sticky hands and lips. Shrimp and chive dumplings were good, but for $8.50 you'd think they should be warm when served. Pork belly ramen in a soy broth had great pork, but no ramen (cheaper Chinese noodles instead) and a bland broth. It's a bad sign if they cut corners a couple days after opening. Pork in a spicy bean sauce over noodles was not bad, but not good either.
Not worth a visit, especially when the well known Ryowa Ramen is close by on University. If you must try it, wait until the opening surge of curious customers disappears.
Thanks for the reports both + and -. In fairness I'm wait until they get rolling. 2 months has always been the standard period of time before critics and reviewers give the complete low down, the good, bad and/or ugly. If you want a place to survive, particularly a mom and pop local type place, you have to give them some breathing room to operate.