When Chubby Noodle opened up its Asian fusion flagship location, it came with a full liquor license, fresh cocktail offerings, and some knockout menu additions. Walk into its North Beach space (570 Green St., where Chubby Noodle used to operate as a pop-up back in the day) and you’ll find a sunshine-filled mural courtesy of North Beach artist Jeremy Fish, a full bar glittering with hard liquor options, and plenty of booth seating for you and your friends. But most importantly, you’ll find three stellar new menu items. Here are some can’t miss selections to order at the new Chubby Noodle:
Glazed Pork Ribs: The morning after trying these pork ribs, I woke up still dreaming about them. There’s nothing particularly flashy about them — they’re just pork ribs done to perfection. So much of this is owed to the texture: The skin is crispy and sweet; towards the center, tender pork falls away from the bone. At $25, it’s one of the pricier things on the menu. But it’s absolutely worth trying.
Aguachile: Scallops, Korean chili, and jalapeños get a hefty helping of sesame seeds in this bright and vibrant dish. Chubby Noodle’s aguachile is sweet, sour, summery, and can objectively be enjoyed all year round (especially in San Francisco’s temperate weather).
Lamb Shank Noodles: Founder Pete Mrabe veered away from heavier, thicker sauces for this noodle dish, opting to work with what he had on hand instead. Lamb is braised in oyster sauce, soy sauce, hoisin, chiles, and sambal until it reaches a melt-in-your-mouth quality. The braising sauce is then used to dress the noodles, making a meal that’s easy to dive into and devour.
New Fall Flavors from Virgin Hotels through Dec. 21
Commons Club, the Virgin Hotel restaurant and bar, is bringing in a new autumn menu that includes a melt-in-your-mouth pumpkin gnocchi paired with pepitas, chestnuts, and genmaicha foam. With the Millenium Bell — xicaru mezcal and lime pinot noir sweetened with blood orange agave and rimmed with lavender salt — it’s the strongest pairing off of Commons Club’s new cocktail and food menu. The Autumn Salad is also a highlight: fresh chunks of fuyu persimmons in watercress, decorated with bright red pomegranate seeds for a much-needed tartness. These menu items — along with the rest of Commons Club’s fall menu — will be available through Dec. 21.
Grace Li covers arts and culture for SF Weekly. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.