Noodles Corner serves big portions of Asian food

August 05, 1999|By Zanto Peabody | Zanto Peabody,SUN STAFF

Four people walking out of Noodles Corner were each carrying a takeout box, suggesting either they had ordered food to go or they could not finish all they had ordered.

But, when the waitress brought us a heaping plate of Indonesian noodles -- a pile of fried rice in a silver tray full of seafood pasta -- it was clear that she would have to prepare another box for all the extra food at the end of the night.

Seen from a glass atrium at the Lake View Shopping Center off Dobbin Road, Noodles Corner could be an Italian bistro or steakhouse without tablecloths. A single print of Chinese lettering on a wall is the only clue that the slick-finish wood and cast-metal tables and chairs belong to a pan-Asian restaurant. From the dining area, four cooks are visible from the shoulder up, stir-frying and mixing behind a counter beside a wet bar that serves traditional American cordials as well as Japanese beer.

The owners of the restaurant wanted it to have an international appearance to match its international menu.

"We traveled the country in 1997 and 1998 before we opened the restaurant," said Phu Do, one of the owners of the 13-month-old restaurant. "We wanted to see ideas from all over the country and put them all together here."

The Vietnamese partners did the same thing with the menu that contains items such as a Malaysian-style wok-seared noodles, Vietnamese shrimp salad and curry noodles with chicken and spinach.

Do and his partners take a hands-on approach to all aspects of the business. Two of the partners cook the food. And when a diner looked up for a waitress to refill his drink, Do served up a fresh glass of lemonade.

Do plans to update the menu in the coming months to reflect customer preferences.

"I won't say what, but some items are not too popular with customers," he said, adding that the variety of rice, egg and bean noodles promises to remain Noodles Corner's mainstay.

Noodles Corner

Where: 8865 Stanford Blvd., No. 103, Columbia, 410-312-0088.

Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-10: 30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, noon-10 p.m. Sunday.

Prices: Appetizers $1.95-$4.95; entrees: $3.50-$8.75. Credit cards: MasterCard, Visa, American Express.

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