2205 Lombard St., Marina
Phone: (415) 655-3335
Status: Softly open
Fans of Chubby Noodle, the Asian-fusion project from Don Pisto's owner Pete Mrabe, have a second place to indulge their noodle cravings. Today marks the (very soft) soft opening of the new Chubby Noodle Marina location, which joins the original, a not-so-secret hidden restaurant inside North Beach bar Amante.
Mrabe and business partner Nick Floulis have turned the long and narrow former Gatip Classic Thai space into a 50-seat restaurant with custom benches that run along the Lombard side, plus seven-foot cedar communal tables that abut the kitchen. Diners in those seats won't just be able to catch the action behind the stoves; they'll actually have the cooks as their servers.
The menu will be a departure from their North Beach location, which Mrabe says was designed specifically as a bar menu. Though they may have that location's popular fried chicken or garlic noodles as a special at a later date, the new menu is more of a sit-down affair. "The flavors will remain, but the menu will be a lot different," Floulis told us, noting that there's now a larger raw component and a dumpling program. The menu will be fairly streamlined, with some small plates, a variety of noodle and rice dishes, and some larger shareable options. Some potential dishes include bean thread noodles cooked in mushroom stock, chicken and shiitake mushroom dumplings, and pork and shrimp shumai.
Floulis is also behind Pushback Wines, and he's got 16 taps installed at the Marina spot, with 13 reserved for wine, including some custom barrel blends made just for the restaurant. Of the remaining three taps, one will have sake, one beer, and one a creative twist on a signature cocktail—though they only have a beer and wine license, it'll be a low-gravity blend served in a teapot and dubbed "cold tea."
They're softly opening the space tonight, but for the first month they'll be easing into things, with mostly friends and family and limited seats available for walk-ins from 5pm-midnight Thursday-Saturday. During that time, the pair will be running an intimate operation, with Mrabe in the kitchen and Floulis waiting tables up front. They also plan to host some pop-ups over the course of the month, with upcoming neighbor Causwell's among them.
Come the end of June, Chubby Noodle Marina will have a four-day grand opening celebration that spans June 26-29 (this will be reservation-only). After that, they'll be open daily from 5pm-12 am, with the possibility of a late-night option in the works and reservations for larger parties only.
· Spring Tracking: Chubby Noodle Marina [~ ESF ~]
· Pete Mrabe Names New Deli, Expands Chubby Noodle to Marina [~ ESF ~]