September 3, 2014 by

The uniqueness provided by one of downtown’s newest restaurant additions, Nudo, is unique and catchy. Although, the manga/pop art fusion that adorns the wall is so “in the now” modern, it makes one wonder when they will have to remodel just to avoid looking dated. Like ‘Union of the Snake’ by Duran Duran, one look inside this establishment is a look into a time capsule of the exact year, month and day it was made. The interior structurally is a shell, essentially. There is bench seating that goes down the length of each wall, with a few tables in front of those, and a long, cafeteria style table down the center. Beyond that the minimalistic design done by local architect firm HDG was accomplished. Unfortunately the design concept of “less is more” reflects the food, too.

I was having trouble wrapping my head around a restaurant that serves $13 bowls of something poor college students eat when they’ve spent all their student aide money on PBR. That aside, I’d heard so much buzz about this new eatery that I had to try it. We were greeted promptly at the door and seated immediately on a Saturday night. I’m not sure if this is Nudo being efficient at moving customers through or the initial appeal already wearing thin, and the crowds flocking somewhere else for a nice dinner out on a Saturday. I perused the small menu -which isn’t a bad thing, having too many options can be distracting. You’re a niche restaurant, not the Cheesecake Factory- and finally decided on what I’d heard the most buzz about: The Ramen Burger. In addition, we ordered the Coconut Prawn appetizer.

The burgers showed up in what I’d consider a timely fashion, but we were still waiting on our appetizer when the entree hit our table. To be fair, the prawns showed up soon after, but this is a faux pas for any restaurant. I started with the prawns which were six decent sized pieces smothered in a thick, rich coconut cream sauce. It was heavy and all the flavor was carried by the cream sauce, not any actual breading or the prawns. So far I was not impressed.

Finally I made my way to the burger, which was served with a side of edamame. On the good side, the burger was perfectly cooked, albeit a little flimsy. It was juicy and tasty, for the patty that was received. The ramen patty wasn’t bad, but it seemed wildly unnecessary. It certainly didn’t improve anything, and it started to fall apart quickly, making me wonder if I was supposed to eat this with my hands or fork and knife it. There wasn’t much to it, save some teriyaki slathered on a little to heavy, and the consistency of the ramen only got worse as you went along in the meal. And on top of all that, the healthy side of edamame looked like it was about to have a coronary from all the salt it was buried in. All in all, I wasn’t blown away by Nudo, and I have some doubts about its sustainability in a market like Spokane. Eventually the trendiness and newness wears off, and then it just has to survive on its product.

Leave a Comment