4

The Statler's New Restaurant, R&B, Serves Fun Late-Night Ramen and Bao

Step into the Statler's new lunch and late-night bao and ramen spot, R&B.EXPAND
Step into the Statler's new lunch and late-night bao and ramen spot, R&B.
Beth Rankin
^
Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

The Statler's been going hard with the openings this year: the diner Overeasy, cocktail bar Bourbon & Banter, adult playspace Scout, rooftop bar Waterproof and, most recently, Fine China, chef Angela Hernandez's take on new American Chinese cuisine.

Now, it's tossed another concept into the mix: R&B, a new fast-casual ramen and bao spot that opened this week with the intention of serving fun fusion bao and Japanese ramen to downtown lunch and late-night crowds. Hernandez and chef de cuisine Josh Bonee developed the menu, and the concept and interior are equally simple: order at the counter from a small menu of ramen and bao, and chances are you'll be out the door with a full belly in 20 minutes if you're in a rush.

The simple, modern interior at R&B.EXPAND
The simple, modern interior at R&B.
Beth Rankin

We suggest hanging around to sample wildly from this tiny menu. On our visit, we tried one of every bao plus an order of tater tots, okonomiyaki style ($4) with kewpie mayo, Bull-Dog Sauce, pickled ginger and bonito flakes waving in the air-conditioned breeze. Every bao plus a side set us back $40 and made for a fun tasting lunch for two.

On this round, we didn't sample from the ramen menu (which does, in fact, feature a chilled heirloom tomato mazemen) since it's approximately 7,000 degrees outside. The bao menu was just too enticing: cheesebao-ger ($4.50), wagyu beef pastrami ($6.50), pork belly katsu ($4.50), edamame falafel ($4.50), hot fried chicken ($4.50), banh mi ($4.50) and the Dirty Joe ($4.50), made with spicy pork ragu and a handful of shredded cheddar cheese.

Every bao on R&B's opening menu. From top left: cheesebao-ger, banh mi, wagyu beef pastrami, hot fried chicken, edamame falafel, pork belly katsu, dirty Joe and an order of tater tots.EXPAND
Every bao on R&B's opening menu. From top left: cheesebao-ger, banh mi, wagyu beef pastrami, hot fried chicken, edamame falafel, pork belly katsu, dirty Joe and an order of tater tots.
Beth Rankin

These perfectly fluffy, cloudlike bao are more fusion than traditional, and they're a lot of fun. The cheesebao-ger was overflowing with American cheese atop a perfectly juicy, medium-rare patty. The wagyu beef pastrami was huge for a bao, the bun overflowing with salty pastrami and crispy fried onion. The banh mi did a great job fusing the best of both worlds: a Chinese bao bun with vibrant Vietnamese vibes from chicken meatballs, fresh veggies and fish sauce.

We stopped by on R&B's second day, but we're already craving another visit. A concept like this just makes sense downtown: It's quick, casual and available on weekends until 4 a.m., which is a dream come true for those making an Uber exodus from Deep Ellum.

R&B at the Statler, 1914 Commerce St. (Downtown). Open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

R&B's full menu.EXPAND
R&B's full menu.
Beth Rankin

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.