Whoa. Big, and surprising, news from the food scene today: Acclaimed Saison chef Joshua Skenes is teaming with Umami Burger's Adam Fleischman to open a fast-casual Chinese spot at 2nd & Mission called Fat Noodle. Per an announcement today, Skenes has had the concept in mind since before even opening Saison, and he envisioned something that was "accessible with a genuine, focused and balanced style" much like Saison, only in a more casual vein.
The concept is fast-casual Chinese with a focus on noodles, and a menu will consisting of hand-pulled and ripped noodles inspired by the traditional flavor profiles of Western China’s Sichuan and Shaanxi provinces, as well as "other bold interpretations of Chinese food classics." Noodle dishes will all be under $10, and you'll just go the counter and pick your preferred noodles, proteins, vegetables, sauce/broth (three types of broths to choose from: chicken, ham hock, and preserved vegetable), and condiments.
There will also be beer, and plenty of nice tea.
As Skenes tells Inside Scoop, regarding his passion for noodles, "I view it as one of the most delicious things I enjoy eating." He adds, regarding the intended quality of the new concept, “A restaurant needs to be the best of its genre, with sincerity and quality. And that’s it, whether it’s casual or not.”
It should be noted that this is not to be confused with Chubby Noodle, the Asian pop-up in North Beach that grew into a full-fledged Marina restaurant last year, focusing on noodles and wings.
Skenes and Fleischman are aiming for a late-2014/early 2015 opening for Fat Noodle, which will be going into the space formerly home to Henry's Cafeteria at 92 2nd Street.