New Salads to Put in Your Urban Belly
You love Urban Belly for its noodles, its dumplings, and its phat rice, and now there's more to love with the recent introduction of salads to the menu. Yes, Urban Belly now has a salad section on their menu, and true to Bill Kim form, these things go far beyond the standard mixed greens and mayonnaise-y potatoes. The greatest thing about these salads is how composed they are. Layers of flavors and textures make them more akin to elaborate Asian-flavored entrees than a side salad or something else forgettable. In fact, if I didn't know any better, I would probably not think they were salads upon eating them. But the salad moniker creates a delicious halo effect that makes me feel a little better when I binge a little.
I recently are my way through the trifecta of salads, and I am here to say that these are salads you want to eat. Chilled soba takes center plate on the noodle salad dish. Buckwheat-y noodles are swirled amidst crispy nuggets of tofu, blackened chickpeas, and citrus morsels. It's light, satisfying, and complex. Plus it's a great way to enjoy Urban Belly noodles even when you're suffering from a mild case of heat exhaustion. As a big fan of KIm's chicken katsu, I was psyched to see a chicken katsu salad on the menu, that way I can inhale the poultry without any accompanying noodles, which makes me feel like I've eaten an anvil because I don't have enough will power to stop. Crispy chicken strips are layered over field greens, tangy green papaya, and piquant Belly Fire sauce. Then there's the most un-salad-y salad of them all. Coconut polenta cakes set a rich, tropical foundation for the plate, heaped with potent add-ons such as shrimp, curried cauliflower, and vivifying gazpacho sauce.
(Chilled soba noodle salad)