I knew this place was small, based on its previous life as Atlantic so suggested, that we needed to get there early: as close to 5pm as possible. We walked in at about 5:10 and every table was full! The owner spotted a couple making motions to leave and suggested we wait for that table which they cleared, cleaned and reset very quickly. This process was repeated every 5 to 10 minutes of our stay. Except for the larger groups deep in conversation, folks didn’t linger unnecessarily, sensitive to the need to open up tables for more diners.
It was still Happy Hour so we had a glass of house red (me) and a tall glass of new porter (he). My spouse chose the Curry Vermicelli Bowl with beef ($15) and I chose the Sea Scallops. At $21, it is one of the more expensive dishes and although the scallops were cooked to perfection (not tough), it was hardly as filling as the Vermicelli Bowl. There were three large sea scallops with bits of roasted cauliflower; the thin sauce was very good and enhanced rather than overwhelmed the scallops. This dish is not on the website menu but then scallops are not always available.
My better half pronounced the Bowl perfect for a brisk evening as he slurped up noodles and even ate a sprig of cilantro without complaining. At home, we cook stealthily with cilantro, which is dicey because he can smell it the minute he walks into the house. For an adventurous eater who dislikes hardly anything, I have concluded he must be one of those folks with an anti-cilantro gene.
Ambiance? You’ll find mood lighting with booths and tall stools at a long tall table plus seats at the bar. As for noise, many wall attachments (shark jawbones) help diffuse the sound. With music a little on the loud side and a full house of chatter, we could still hear each other across the table.
Service is good which helps with the turnover and the owner is attentive. I asked about the “Reckless” name. He said he and his partner indulge in risky pastimes like rock climbing, snow boarding, etc., and the name just reflects their life style. I would say this venture into the restaurant business was not reckless; they have a prosperous business in that difficult spot. I say difficult due to the size. The constant turnover is key to keeping it profitable. There seemed to be no vacant tables the entire time we were there.
Caution: Do not be tempted to park in the parking lot on the east side of the building; it is employee parking for several businesses and you will be towed. Two difficulties here: parking and getting a table—but worth it.
Reckless Noodle House
2519 S Jackson, 206-329-5494, recklessnoodles.com
Mon–Thurs 4pm–12am; Fri 4pm–2am; Sat 11:30am–2am; Sun 11:30am–10pm