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Tom Tom could be the force that prompts noodle-house glory in Dallas

Aromatic chicken with egg noodles offered surprising elements, too, but not necessarily the kind that arouse. There was aroma here, but it didn't come from the chicken. The perfume came from the broth itself, a murky black bath that looked like well-used engine-block solvent. The pool floated pieces of lemon grass, Kaffir lime, shaved fennel and a snag of egg noodles that were tough and rubbery. Thin in demeanor, the broth had a strangely bitter, almost industrial chemical way about it. This is odd because it was benignly crafted from pork neck, chicken bones, sweet soy sauce and herbs. Somehow, something got out of whack.

Pad Thai got out of whack, too, though on its face it looked like an innovation rather than a misstep. It was cleanly arranged with little pinches of bean sprouts, greens, carrot and daikon radish ringing a loose and separate wad of flat noodles interspersed with egg and juicy chicken. The noodle mass was relatively clear, void of any rust stains that might come from a sauce flush with tamarind or peanut. The flavors were very clean; too clean. All that could be pulled out of the noodles were a trace of fish sauce and a shock of lime. Tom Tom chef Tim Byres says his pad Thai recipe is anchored on a rich, rounded sauce composed of tomato paste, sugar, fish sauce and fresh-squeezed orange juice. But our pad Thai had no such racy lingerie. It was nude.

Nude works in most of this food, though. Grilled calamari steak, a neat sheaf of clean peppered meat strips stacked on a banana leaf, was creamy and delicious, with a sea salt, cracked pepper and lime solution for dipping. Indonesian beef and shiitake mushrooms on rice, with a yellow curry and sweet soy soak, were fitted with rosy beef slices, tender bok choy leaves and a tasty demeanor.

Will Tom Tom be the noodle house that conquers Dallas?
Stephen Karlisch
Will Tom Tom be the noodle house that conquers Dallas?

Location Info

Map

Tom Tom Noodle House

3699 McKinney Ave.
Dallas, TX 75204

Category: Restaurant > Japanese

Region: Uptown & Oak Lawn

Details

214-522-1694. Open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday & Tuesday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Wednesday & Thursday, 11 a.m.-12 a.m. Friday, 12 p.m.-12 a.m. Saturday and 12 p.m.-10 p.m. Sunday. $-$$

Gyoza dumplings: $5
Spring rolls: $6
Barbecued salmon: $8
Calamari steak: $7
Vietnamese beef salad: $7
Aromatic chicken: $8
Duck ramen: $10
Pad Thai: $9
Indonesian beef: $10

3699 McKinney Ave. in West Village

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Overall, Tom Tom finesses a deft stroll on the cutting edge. It's clean. It's tasty. It's cheap. Maybe this is the noodle house force that will drive noodle fusion to steak-house glory, filling the landscape like a division of unstoppable bunnies. It's on its way. Tom Tom parent Triple R group is planning another Tom Tom to open sometime next year at Preston Road and Northwest Highway.

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