If you’ve been on social media lately, you’ve probably seen the extremely viral and mystifying Floating Noodles dish. Originally created by Hana Restaurant in Singapore with soba and somen noodles, the dish have since been replicated and recreated all over Asia. For those unfamiliar, the noodles are hung on floating chopsticks so that they look like they are magically floating in mid-air. The popular trend has drawn upwards of two hour-long lines in Singapore.
Back on this side of the world, the guys behind Neptunes Raw Bar in Artesia have created their own variation of the famous dish. Available as of yesterday, March 22, Neptunes Raw Bar debuted three kinds of Floating Noodle dishes: garlic shrimp, deep-fried soft shell crab, and chicken katsu. Instead of soba or somen, Neptunes’ version uses their popular garlic noodles to adhere to the floating chopsticks.
The dish is laden with an abundance of garlic and runs for $16.99. For readers still scratching their heads on how this dish actually works, (spoiler alert) the noodles are supported by a hidden pole in the basket. You don’t actually use the floating chopsticks to eat the dish. Instead, you are given a fork to finish the dish.
Although the noodle dish is indeed a bit gimmicky, it’s no surprise that Neptunes, which opened in 2016, would be the first restaurant in the U.S. to make its debut. Neptunes Raw Bar is known for being on all the social media food trends as one of the owners is Andy Nguyen, part owner of Afters Ice Cream (of ice cream pressed milky bun donut fame).
Nguyen is joined by some other well-known names in the industry like Jackson Long of North Shore Poke, Thomas Pham, also of Halal Guys, Pham Vu, a social media fitness personality, and Calvin Tran, a marketing guru.
On the food side, Neptunes is helmed by executive Chef Nathan Payo who was a former chef partner of Roy's and a protégé of Roy Yamaguchi. The restaurant is a raw bar reminiscent of EMC Seafood in Koreatown. Although the novelty of the Garlic Floating Noodles is fun, perhaps more compelling are the new brunch menu items that Neptunes will be debuting in April, which include ube pancakes with ube mascarpone sauce, matcha pancake with matcha mascarpone sauce, and a unicorn version of those pancakes, which Nguyen promises will be “very colorful, tasty, and very Instagram-worthy.”
Neptunes Raw Bar is closed Monday, but open Tuesday to Thursday 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday: 11 a.m. to Midnight, Saturday 10:30 a.m. to Midnight, and Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Neptunes Raw Bar, 11612 South St, Artesia, CA 90701, (562) 402-0770