Thursday, November 3, 2011

Restaurant Review: Wafu

Wafu is the Japanese-inspired restaurant on 31st and SE Division. It occupies a long narrow space with a big group table, seats at the bar, seats around the kitchen and a few other tables. Big lantern lamps, pictured above, try to set the atmosphere.

Tonight, Wafu, dared to offer ceviche with Thai spices. I say "dared," because Wafu is a block away from Pok Pok, the very popular Thai restaurant. Pok Pok is so popular that it has an annex for people to wait. So, right in Pok Pok’s back yard, this two-month upstart restaurant offers something with Thai flavors. My verdict: Wafu’s Thai beat Pok Pok. The fresh herbs and chiles were perfectly balanced: a full-mouthed flavor without any too-hot burn. Also, the fish (tonight it was Mahi-Mahi) seemed much higher quality than the food I had eaten at Pok Pok.

Wafu’s gimmick is ramen noodles, but it is not the ramen you survived on during college. It is heartier, and Wafu offers choices of broths and “toppings,” such as pork, chicken or mushrooms. Here’s the menu. Additionally, Wafu posts its daily specials on the wall.
Wafu’s bartender was a real professional. He knew how to mix a cocktail with flare, shaking it cold high over his shoulder.

My recommendation? Next time your friends drag you to Pok Pok and Pok Pok tells you to wait at the Wiskey Soda Lounge, walk just another 20 yards or so to Wafu. The food is better, and you will be treated more as a welcomed guest than another number.
Wafu on Urbanspoon

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