Chubby Noodle is the solution to all of your problems, if all of your problems consist of the fact that you can’t decide between bottomless mimosa brunch and dim sum. There are two locations – the Marina and North Beach – and we went to North Beach. Both are nearly identical, though, with the same menu/time limit/blaring rap music.
In terms of ambiance, I think the best thing I can do is quote from their web site: “What better way to eat noodles than with R. Kelly singing in the background?” It’s a fair point. There really is no better way. The music is mostly the best rap of the ’90s and 2000s, so if you don’t enjoy that, Chubby Noodle may not be the right spot for you (and also we probably can’t be friends).
The grand total here is $39 plus tip and tax for all you can eat/drink for 90 minutes. The time is pretty strictly enforced, because there are three seatings at 10/12/2, so they’ve gotta get you out and get the place cleaned up for the next set of degenerate brunchers.
There are four drinks you can choose from and switch between – mimosas with house-squeezed juice (ours were cantaloupe, which ws excellent), rosé sangria, Sapporo and tea (honestly not sure if the tea had alcohol – didn’t try it). They come with adorable tiny rubber ducks floating in them.
Chubby Noodle is a great space for a big group, because the dim sum comes out quickly, and there are lots of dishes to try. Highlights were the peking duck, pork buns and wings, but if I’m being totally honest it was all excellent. There are 13 dishes total, and with four of us we tried 10, so with a decent sized group you’ll be able to get a bit of everything. You can request particular dishes or just ask you waitress to keep it coming.
The 90 minute timeline is strict, but the wait staff makes sure that you don’t leave hungry. Because it’s dim sum and the menu’s not that big, they’re able to get food coming out to you more or less as soon as you’re seated. Same with drinks – the restaurant isn’t big, and someone’s always circling with a pitcher of mimosas (and a willingness to get you a fresh beer if you prefer to go that route). Our waitress made sure to check in before last call to make sure we had full drinks.
Chubby Noodle is a lot of fun – it’s got a very upbeat environment with a great soundtrack, and new food and drinks seem to just appear in front of you constantly. The only real downside is the strict enforcement of the time limit. To be fair, though, it’s a small space and they need to make sure as many people as possible can have brunch, so it’s tough to fault them for that.