RIP Dashi Noodle Bar. Bellingham’s beloved Northwest-y ramen shop and my former place of employment closed. This is old news considering I overturned the red stools onto the recycled wood countertops for the last time Memorial Day weekend. I’ve been reminiscing recently…dreaming of 5-spice tofu steamed buns with coconut curry sauce.
Bellingham wasn’t ready for it. Some customers came in and wanted to know if our tofu was organic and where we sourced our beef. The answer was yes and a small farm in Oregon. Josh, the owner of Dashi, had close relationships with many local farmers, who would bring boxes of vegetables in weekly. Dashi was the definition of farm-to-table.
Other customers would come in and say, “$12 for a bowl of soup?!” So how do you please both?
Sometimes I think about the woman who came in every wednesday and ordered tofu soup with rice noodles and mushroom broth. Or the couple who looked as if they were straight out of a comic book. She would order a pork steamed bun with hoisin. He would look at the menu and whisper to her, “I can’t remember which sauce I like.” I would remind him he likes the coconut curry sauce on a beef bun. She would whack her arm across his Batman t-shirt and say, “Even she knows what you order.”
While I was in New York City last month, I made it my mission to find great ramen. A friend of a friend recommended Hide-Chan. I had pork tonkatsu ramen with roasted garlic. When I swirled my chopsticks around the broth, the squid ink dribbled near the side soon turned my bowl of broth black. It was rich, salty and bold. I thought to myself, If people in Bellingham tried this, most would complain it was too salty. I slurped up every noodle, letting the fat coat my tongue.
Now in Seattle, I’m applying for jobs and looking for the next place to eat ramen. Any suggestions?