It’s not normal for a business that prides itself on one product to actually be better at another — to the point that you wonder whether they’ve seen themselves correctly. But it happens.
New York City steakhouses come to mind: wonderful places to eat fish and conduct important meetings, but do not eat steak there. Locally, The Grape (RIP) late in its life developed a burger that was far more famous and critically acclaimed than any of its sophisticated menu items.
I initially dismissed Wabi House shortly after it opened because its ramen didn’t interest me that much. There was a lot of new ramen in Dallas at the time that just struck me as better, even if Wabi was just fine.
It pays to look at the whole menu before making up your mind. Wabi House is an underrated Japanese/pan-Asian joint at a reasonable price if you just skip the ramen.
The tempura veggies also are heavier on spice than everyone wants with the proportion of shishito peppers in play, and they were perfectly cooked. Returning to a theme: six bucks for a pile of veggies.
Chicken meatballs are exactly what they sound like, but they sound delicious. They’re relatively a little splurgy at seven dollars, but strangely the bargain play is the excellent takoyaki: octopus balls (Beavis laugh) at four (!) dollars.
I should add that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the ramen. The tonkotsu, shoyu and spicy miso broths are perfectly acceptable, and the menu offers plentiful additional ingredients to meet any taste. I just find the noodles a bit instant compared to the city’s other ramen choices. It’s no Ten, but at $8 for the lunch portion, it’s a good value.
I have not ordered a lot of to-go drinks since March, but working from memory, I’d rate Wabi’s bar somewhere between “rockin’” and “killer.” If we ever return to the shoulder-to-shoulder-with-total-strangers alert level, this is a good place to get a drink.
Go to the ramen place and get more than ramen.
Wabi House, 1802 Greenville Ave., No. 100 (Lower Greenville). 469-779-6474. Open 11 a.m. to 2:40 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 to 11 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.