First Look: Chubby Noodle Twirls Into the MarinaBy Virginia Miller | July 8, 2014 By Virginia Miller | July 8, 2014
Chubby Noodle has been soft-open on Lombard Street for about a month and — now that the grand opening weekend is behind us all — it's time to weigh in on the Marina's latest Asian food hot shot. With its steamy, bustling open kitchen; jovial, familial service and noisy packed space, this is the kind of restaurant we crave on the regular — the kind of place where you might toast glasses of draft sake with others next to you at the communal table — all set to a soundtrack running from '80s and early '90s rap to Fergie remixes and even a little Sinatra.
Pete Mrabe, of Don Pisto’s and still-operating Chubby Noodle North Beach, and his kitchen crew tirelessly churn out steaming plates of Chinese and Japanese food so heart-warmingly good that — after trying the entire menu — the best dish is still up for debate. Mrabe's business partner and Pushback Wines winemaker, Nick Floulis, checks in on guests and offers house wine/sake-based cocktails. With a different menu than Chubby Noodle's North Beach window in the back of Amante bar — which we have long been a fan of — the initial 12-dish menu at brick-and-mortar Chubby Noodle had us plotting when we might return.
If a Japanese izakaya and Chinese dim sum met a family-style party with California wines and hip-hop thrown in for good measure, it might look like Chubby Noodle Marina. Hours are minimal initially: Thursday-Saturday, 5 PM-12 AM. Read on for the highlights. 2205 Lombard St.; 415-655-3335