Food, Restaurants & Dining Lauren Potter September 15, 2016


(Photo: Lauren Potter)

As Downtown Phoenix evolves, so too do its businesses. That’s why Otakumen and Pat & Waldo’s (114 W. Adams St., Ste. 103) are no longer two separate eateries under one roof.

After serving downtown diners for less than a year, chef and owner Marco DiSanto decided to rebrand and re-launch his businesses under one name: Noodle Bar.

This time around, DiSanto and his team are honing in on their noodle niche to bring new and flavorful dishes to downtown.

“We’re trying to go for an extremely authentic menu that showcases items from the different regions,” DiSanto said.

They’ll still have Italian dishes, and they’ll still have Japanese, but don’t be surprised if you see some other specials on the menu that are inspired by other regional cuisines. They’re also stepping things up by going full service — think hostess, waiters, full wine and sake menu, beer on tap, and cocktails. 

The official re-launch kicks off Friday, Sept. 16, but we got to skip the line for a sneak peek of the new menu.

Here are our top five favorites on Noodle Bar’s new menu that you seriously need to try.



(Photo: Lauren Potter)

It’s like the Japanese equivalent of Alfredo, and it’s our new favorite thing. How can you go wrong by mixing thick, warm noodles in a light blend of oil, and topping them with a blackened pork chashu, scallions and a poached egg? Trick question — you can’t. The abura soba is quite possibly the most simple yet delicious item on Noodle Bar’s new menu. It’s served with the poached egg in tact, so you get to slice it open and watch the golden yolk mix with the buttery noodles. With cooler weather slowly approaching (we swear, it’s coming soon!), we suspect this is going to become a new go-to comfort food for Downtown Phoenix diners this fall. Price $10.



(Photo: Lauren Potter)

Although noodles are their niche, Noodle Bar’s menu is well-balanced to include several scrumptious salads. The arrostito, which means roasted in Italian, is a delightful dish of perfectly roasted vegetables — bell pepper, zucchini and leek — atop a bed of crisp chopped romaine lettuce. Hiding beneath the roasted veggies is a toasted crostini, which adds another element of texture to the dish.  It’s topped off with the perfect amount of freshly grated parmesan and a light and tangy vinaigrette dressing. Price $7.


(Photo: Lauren Potter)

This yakisoba makes all of our dreams come true. The noodles are cooked to perfection and lightly wok-seared with a tangy house-made teriyaki sauce. Cabbage, bok choy and carrots are also woven into the nest of noodley goodness adding just the right amount of crunch and texture. But what really makes this dish magical is the nori dust sprinkled on top. Honestly, who needs fairy dust when you have nori dust? If you order it in its natural vegetarian form straight from the menu, the yakisoba costs $8. Add shrimp for only $3.



(Photo: Lauren Potter)

Don’t be intimidated by the tsukemen — think of it kind of like a noodle fondue. Ramen noodles, which come in a separate bowl, are served cold and ready to dip into a bowl of hot, rich broth. Salty, spicy and bold, the broth is designed to merely coat the noodles; it’s not intended to be consumed like a regular broth or soup. Accompanying the broth and noodles is a bevy of small savory sides including pickled ginger, marinated bamboo, bean sprouts, a six-minute egg, thinly sliced and melt-in-your-mouth pork chat, as well as wood ear mushroom. Price $12.



(Photo: Lauren Potter)

If the rich red sauce on Noodle Bar’s new chicken cacciatore doesn’t make you salivate, surely the list of ingredients will. With crimini mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, crispy pan-fried chicken thigh and just the right amount of capers, this dish scintillates the senses. Stacked high on a bed of al dente spaghetti, the sizable serving of chicken melts in your mouth. Topped with freshly shaved parmesan, this hearty dish will definitely fill your appetite. Price $13.

To celebrate their re-launch, Noodle Bar (114 W Adams, Ste. 103) is hosting “Free Noodle Day” Friday, Sept. 16 at 11 a.m. The first 10 people in line every hour will get a free noodle dish. Hours: Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m.-3 a.m.; Sunday closed.