Boom Noodle: Repeatable: Yes. Visits: 2
Blue C: More times than I care to admit.
Bellevue Mall is large enough to have its own gravitational pull. Which may explain why I found myself adrift there the other day, trying to find the new Boom Noodle/Blue C Sushi outposts. Luckily, these two restaurants are located streetside, with excellent signage that’s visible from 8th. Even better, unlike sister restaurants Blue C Fremont, Blue C U Village, and Boom Noodle Capitol Hill (I haven’t been to Blue C Southcenter), there’s AMPLE free parking in the lot next door. That alone makes driving across the lake for a double-header of sushi and ramen a viable option for even the stubbornest of Seattleites.
But with food that keeps getting better and better, and a game plan that’s brilliant (pack ’em in at lunch, appeal to families as well as the happy hour crowd), Boom and Blue C are well-poised to ride out the depression-in-all-but-name. The shitake soba I enjoyed at lunch was so good, it inspired me to email owner Steve Rosen, to ask if they’ve been improving things at Boom Noodle and how the first two weeks of opening have been…
His funny and frank reply:
“It’s so funny that you had the Shiitake soba yesterday. That, along with the chilled wasabi soba salad are my current favorites. We just swapped out our soba noodle to a more expensive hand-made one and I think it has more bite. Our previous ones were so irritating because they became soggy too fast.
“To answer your question, YES, the two weeks have been exhilarating and full of a lot of nervous energy. Half of the kitchen equipment went down on our preview night for boom so that was interesting to say the least.
“As far as boom goes the thing we’re most happy about is that people are accepting the overall concept. When we decided to open over there we had many people tell us they were doubtful about people on the east side taking to our style of communal dining, but so far it has gone over really great from what we can tell. Along that strip of Bellevue way we are the only non “white table cloth” establishment so it feels as though the urban, casual environment is resonating.
“It has also been interesting to see people embrace us as a “local” restaurant. Our intention was always to ring a non-national chain over to Bellevue like other Seattle places have done, but we could never be sure if people really cared one way or another. In the days I’ve spent talking to guests they have been so curious about everything; how we started, where the original location is, where the artwork came from–it’s been really satisfying.
“I will say opening two restaurants within two weeks of each other was just about the craziest thing we’ve ever done. It’s unbelievable how valuable take-out forks can be until you realize you forgot to order them… ;)”