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The Wandering Table

in Restaurant Reviews  · 
 ·  1242 W Summit Parkway, 99201

I will admit to feeling many sorts of trepidation when I first heard the mention of «American-style tapas». There are those of us who have a very set definition of what tapas should be, and just having small sharable plates isn't enough to fit that bill. At least not for me.

Subsequently, the word «small plates» has increasingly been used in marketing and media for the Wandering Table, and… Look, I realize most of the world is tomato/tomahto on these kind of things, but I just can't apologize for how I feel about that. I can't! I won't!

All of that aside… The Wandering Table is really quite an excellent addition to the KY. Is it a competitor for the best restaurant in Spokane award, like many already have suggested? It's too early to say, of course, but our first impression was very positive. It'll be interesting to see how the spot will fare on our Best of… later this year.

And let it be said: the Wandering Table has the best deals you will find in Spokane, at least as far as casual-high-end food goes. 

You can order a la carte, but really, the chef's choice is how you'll experience proper Wandering Table-style dining. Simply pick your price, and the plates will come raining down on you, family-style.

We went with $35 a head, and, frankly, that might have been an overkill. From beginning to end, the dishes just would not stop coming in rapid succession. Somewhere along the two hour meal, I lost count of how many dishes we were served, and, somewhat miraculously, only one of them received a thumbs down from the table. (The tuna left a bit to be desired.) Each and every one of the other dishes ranged from good to stellar.

Again, that is pretty incredible, the amount of dishes tried taken into consideration.

Some favorites included the «General Tso Sweetbreads»—the sauce was fantastic—and the garden salad. Trust me, neither are what you might imagine, both featuring creative twists.

Something as simple as deviled eggs was notches above what one could even begin to imagine, and even the popcorn—popcorn!—is worth a special mention.

Ending the meal with olive oil gelato, and a sea salt chocolate chip cookie just seemed right. (Though, subjectively, we prefer the softer take on the cookie.) 

I guess that is all a roundabout way of saying that we were in a downright euphoric food-coma by the end of the meal. That is something we rarely say.

The interiors are simple and inviting; a perfect echo of the casual, yet classy vibe the food presents. The service? Super professional, but never stuffy.

If the Wandering Table can keep this up, there is no reason why they wouldn't or shouldn't become a Spokane institution. 

$35 per head might be an overkill, unless you want to get really stuffed. (Which, hey, why not?) $25, should probably cover it, just fine.

We're fans, and we think you will be too. The Wandering Table really is quite fantastic, and you should probably put it on top of your places-to-check-out list, right now.

NUDO Ramen House

in Restaurant Reviews  · 
 ·  818 W Sprague Ave, 99201

You know, we really like the work of HDG quite a bit. As far as their interior design goes, you get that odd mix of a minimal base, with a maximal finish. NUDO is a good example: here you get a light breezy feel, coupled with Roy Lichtenstein-style punches throughout.

In other words, NUDO's interiors (and exteriors, really) are awesome.

Luckily, and more importantly, the food fares rather well, too.

Their steamed gyozas, for example, filled with pork and chicken went over well during our visit. The meat had a spicy flavor to it, and the desired bite was there. Add the vinaigrette, which pairs nicely, and you have a good fresh appetizer.

The yakitori skewers are reasonably priced between $2-$4, and are surprisingly large. Our favorite was probably the asparagus, which came with a sauce that did not overpower the vegetable. The mushrooms—nicely textured ones at that—followed suit.

I wouldn't say the chicken wings lived up to their «spicy» claim, but the seasoning itself was quite good. The meat seemed just a little fatty to me, but that might possibly be a result of having the wings paired with the aforementioned vegetables.

Now, the ramen burger. It has been pimped pretty heavily, and I was sorta curious of how it would work, if at all. My opinions are mixed on that.

The flavor definitely was there, with a ramen flavorful enough for us to recommend NUDO as a ramen house in general. It had a nice bite to it, and was prepared properly for holding.

But! You still can not eat it as a proper burger. I guess some will claim you can, but I could not figure it out. The problem lies in the heat of the ramen—holding it is nigh impossible, and it does not work as a bun replacement. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Use your fork, and you'll be OK.

Back to the flavor: Who would have thought the ramen and cheese would go so well together? Ramen and cheese is a great combination. I was surprised.

The beef patty was a bit overcooked for my liking, but had a nice flavor to it none the less. The tonkatsu sauce accompanied it well.

Finally, the mochi ice cream, both the green tea and mango, are excellent. The consistency was just right, as were the flavors.

All in all, our lunch was a very positive experience. Tasty food, each item clocking in under $13, in a great setting… Not bad at all. We definitely recommend NUDO. Go give it a shot. Your experience will, hopefully, mirror ours.

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