Ramen Quest: The Graffiti Room
Around April on a Friday afternoon to be exact, I visited The Graffiti Room with Waz of Let's Nom Nom. I found this spot on Yelp and it looked new and the artsy decor caught my eyes.
First off they give you a laminated menu with a dry erase marker. Mark off what you want to eat. So basically a build it yourself concept. We specifically came here for ramen. There's two choices for ramen broth - tonkotsu (chicken & pork broth) OR Miso, both are $9.50. And all of the toppings are add on's which range between $2 - $4. If you add nothing your ramen would only consist of: sauteed greens, bean sprouts, scallions, and corn kernels.
I started off with a drink - Passion Tea with Sweet Lemon ($4.50) and is a Free Refill item. The waitress brought a glass of simple syrup in case my beverage wasn't sweet enough, but I thought the sweetness of it was alright. I like that it was served in a mason jar - absolutely cute and the Passion Tea tastes a lot like the Starbucks Iced Passion Tango Tea.
First off, the set up of the bowl, chopsticks, spoon, and bowl was nice and organized. It's presented on a wooden board and whatever you do be careful with the chopsticks as it can potentially poke your eyes out. I do like that it's organized.
Waz got the Miso Ramen ($9.50) with veggie dumplings (+$3) , but she wasn't happy with the dumplings at all as they were started to fall apart. According to Waz, her noodles were overcooked and even her broth was bland too. That was sad to hear when I read her blog post.
I can feel and see that The Graffiti Room is all about art and presentation. It has an industrial and artsy touch and decor to the restaurant. Even the restroom is artsy-focused so even if you don't need to use the restroom, it's worth checking out and/or to snap a few pictures.
|Passion Tea with Sweet Lemon|
There's an add-ons/separate condiment area/suitcase with pickled vegetables and sauces near the front entrance.
I got the Tonkotsu ramen ($9.50) with veggie dumplings (+$3) and with a poached egg (+$2) so altogether it was: $14.50 , which I thought was a little expensive for a mediocre ramen. It was definitely not the best ramen I've had. I have to agree with Waz that the dumplings were pan-fried, but we didn't get that crispy-ness you would typically get in pan-fried dumplings. It felt soggy and there was soy sauce on the side, but it didn't serve much of a purpose.
I felt the broth was a little bland and could have used more flavor or juices from the chicken and pork. I have had Tonkotsu at other ramen joints before and it was a lot more flavorful and richer. I was quite disappointed by the lack of taste to the broth because that's really the heart of a bowl of ramen.
Besides the disappointing and tasteless broth, there was another aspect I noticed through our experience at The Graffiti Room. There was also nothing in terms of service that I can really talk about because there wasn't too much interactions with the servers. They handed us the menus and we marked off what we wanted and they brought out our food and/or beverages when it was ready. They were nice people in general and just doing their job, but I wished they had interacted with us a little more instead of just standing behind the counter.
This restaurant currently holds an average overall rating of 4.5 stars on Yelp. I read a few reviews from past customers and it's either a hit or miss here. I really wanted to like The Graffiti Room and I do admire the artwork in their restaurant and it seems they care more about appearance, but what about putting that caring-ness into the food?
Likelihood to return: 45%