Trying to take on the lengths of Division Street and all of its food splendor. It took me ages to figure out that this street was the place to be, as it is the most competitively bumpin’ with food innovation. I feel like if you’re ready to thrive or to be recognized within the culinary industry, Division is the street you want to make your mark on, it’s where the foodies really start to rave on. Restaurants that have opened within the last year on Division have been named some of the best for 2013, Ava Gene’s ranking numba 2 in the U.S. (a poor girl like me, I’ll experience it in due time, sadly too pricey for my solo whims). I scoff at myself for being so out of the loop, I had only ever been to Pok Pok and Little Big Burger until April. Oof, the bounty I had been missing! But alas, I now had a companion to conquer with, my bud Jasmine. We’re oddly fond and picky of the same things and had a list of places we intended to try. We’re both fools for noodles, ramen especially. Wafu was the first to cross off our never-ending list. I’m glad to have tried it when we did, for it more recently changed its name and the entirety of its food spread. It’s now called Block and Tackle which specializes in seafood charcuterie, something not often heard of, an enticing idea. Its menu beforehand was solely focused on asian flavors; authentic, simplistic. It now appears to be the modern American menu, pulling its ingredients and stylings from various cultures.
Why they decided to totally re-invent their concept, I’m not sure. Granted I hadn’t been back since our first attempt, but there was mad allure in its atmosphere, I’m hoping they’ve kept some of that thrivin’. Looking back, that was my favorite part. Mostly because they had a projector that would play movies against the main backdrop where guests were seated. It’s not audible, it just creates setting and color for an otherwise subtle palette of color in the joint. Why I enjoyed it so much was because the projections were of a Miyazaki movie, specifically my favorite, Howl’s Moving Castle. Total nerd moment to some, I’m a sucker for most of that man’s work, despite its mad cheese in the plotting. The artistry he’s been able to create through his movies is something I brim thinking about. Seeing that being displayed against the wall for me personally, created a sense of warmth. It was comforting to see, a cool concept I’d love to steal. Not that you’ll necessarily get that reaction from your diners, but it’s a way of sprucing up your joint continuously and in a different way, there are endless possibilities as to what you could display.
Food breakdown: We were curious to try one of their house-drinks, I remember it having a rhubarb syrup and infused cherries, but it translated into a very overpriced shirly temple, not at all ideal. The girth of the drink was also lacking, as there wasn’t much for $5. We went for different ramen assortments, Jasmine’s being a dry version with kimchi and pulled pork. I went for their house ramen, with a broth both hazy and satisfying. The seafood vibe was intense, as the seaweed began to seep further and I fooled around with the pink fish cakes (an asian marvel I’m still trying to figure out flavor/texture wise). I remember really enjoying the consistency of their noodles and was surprised by their poached egg. It was like getting your egg medium-rare instead of rare, it had become a little more dense in the middle, reminding me of when I’d make soldiers for breakfast (soft-boiled egg and toast) and leaving the egg in just over its mark (less than a minute). I wondered if that was done purposefully, but I totally dug it and thought of it as a unique dishing. Instead of the yolk reaching the opposing sides of my bowl, kinda thinly splurgin’ as they usually do, it kept its place. But in a good way? When the yolk takes on that density, its flavor becomes more rich, it’s very pronounced amongst the other ramen components, rather than losing itself in a slurry. I mostly munched on the edamame, which were slightly fried with shallot, chili and soy, whatever other mad flavorings that made them my favorite of the night. Both Jasmine and I agreed. I feel like our first food venture was quick and easy. We came just before the normal dinner masses and spent our meal finding a mutual place of comfort, ragging on stupid school topics or people, confessing our slight horror of T1 while being in our first or second week. Oof, it’s too far back. All the food we’ve since conquered that I’ve yet to tackle web wise, you’ll soon see some of dat love.