Fresh Eats & Fabulous Drinks: Little Noodle and Itty Bitty Buddha in Spokane, WA
Little Noodle is Garland District’s best-kept secret… The thing is, though, it shouldn’t be a secret at all! Little Noodle is Asian-inspired cuisine, according to its founder, Kadra Evans. Here, you’ll find everything from delicious pho to fun (and delicious) pho-rito (burrito but with pho!) and so much more.
Why should you add Little Noodle to your ‘must visit’ list when in Spokane, Washington? I’ll break down all the reasons below why you need Little Noodle in your life, and why it’s a must-visit when you’re in town or have friends in town!
Little Noodle in Spokane, Washington
Snuggled in the Garland District across from the North Hill on Garland restaurant and a block from Mary Lou’s Milk Bottle, Little Noodle is one of my favorite spots in town.
From their Phở, Udon Kimchi and Ramen to their famous Phở-Ritto, Soup Dumplings and Banh-Mi, Little Noodle has something for everyone.
I can bring my entire family and even the littles are happy with the offerings (and if you are a parent, you know how rare that is!).
OK, after listing just a few of Little Noodle’s offerings, I’m hankering for lunch. I already know exactly what I will be ordering: The Porkbelly Phở Bone Marrow Sandwich.
Little Noodle’s Asian-Inspired Cuisine
Just listen to the description Little Noodle chef and owner Kadra Evans wrote for this delectable bite:
“Toasted bun topped with sriracha and aioli, microgreens, pork belly and yes, bone marrow that sat in a 48-hour broth that we then turned into butter.”
Can you even with that?!
Evans featured this Porkbelly Phở Bone Marrow Sandwich for the first time at Crave Northwest this summer. I was lucky enough to have tried a morsel of this burgeoning beauty at Crave and have now gone back to Little Noodle (mumbles how many times because it’s a tad embarrassing) just to order this sandwich.
As you’ve read, Phở is a major component of many of Little Noodle’s most popular dishes.
“I literally get goosebumps when I talk about the Phở, because it’s the backbone of this restaurant,” Evans said. “It was the first thing I learned how to make my very, very first time cooking at an Asian restaurant, and I fell in love.”
Before moving on, let’s clear something up. Little Noodle is not an Asian restaurant.
Chef Kadra said: “Other people may not like my food because it’s not ‘traditional’ enough. I’ve never said I’m an authentic Asian restaurant. I’m not even Asian-fusion. I’m Aisan-inspired.”
At Little Noodle, the dishes all do seem inspired, not by some unknown source, but by the fresh, seasonal, local ingredients Chef Kadra uses in everything.
Walking into the quaint space, the first thing you’ll see is a cute little bok choy, radish and leek with smiling faces (painted by Evans, because, seriously though, what can’t she do?) framing the specials board, which is loaded with delicious new items for you to choose from.
“I don’t want to be stagnant,” Evans said. “We want to showcase the fresh, local stuff. The best way to do that is through specials and fresh eats.”
In order to have the best ingredients, Evans buys her veggies from Charlie’s Produce, located in Spokane. She also sources her proteins from Ramstead Ranch in Ione, Wash., and the bones that make up Little Noodle’s homemade bone broth.
Evans seamlessly transitions her fresh-ingredient-only policy from the front of the house to the Itty Bitty Buddha, the bar located in the back of Little Noodle.
From Little Noodle to Itty Bitty Buddha
That’s right, there’s more fabulousness just through a door within Little Noodle. We applaud Evans for incorporating something so totally unique to Spokane, all within the walls of an unassuming restaurant.
In 2018, The Tiny Tiki opened, Spokane’s first tiki bar. Due to COVID, however, it shut down, leaving Spokane without a tiki bar, something Evans said she couldn’t let stand.
“Every big little city needs a tiki bar!” Evans proclaimed.
But Evans being the masterful creative that she is, couldn’t just have a tiki bar. No, she needed it to be an educational experience and a vehicle to help non-profit organizations within the community.
Thus, Teaching Tiki Tuesdays on Tik Tok was born.
Every Tuesday from 5-9 p.m., Itty Bitty Buddha plays host to a guest bartender. The bartender of the night whips up a custom cocktail for the evening and the process is filmed on Tik Tok for all to see.
How cool is that? It’s a free bartending lesson!
The bartender then stays in the bar for the evening to discuss and make their cocktail. The guest bartender can then choose how to be paid for the evening, with many choosing to donate their earnings to their charity of choice.
Why You Should Visit Little Noodle
Finding a bar plating dishes of fresh, local food after 8 p.m. is hard to find in Spokane, but Tuesday through Sunday, even on Tiki Tuesdays, Itty Bitty Buddha serves up a ton of late-night options, including their undeniably delicious Phở.
You can access the bar through Little Noodle while it’s open, or through a door in the back alleyway after hours.
Scrumptious food, tasty drinks, and the perfect atmosphere to eat, drink and be merry – It’s no secret why we’re obsessed with Little Noodle and the Itty Bitty Buddha.
Plus, if you’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Chef Kadra Evans, we highly recommend you make a trip to Little Noodle just to bask in the joy that emanates from this extremely talented woman.
With the culinary world dominated mostly by male chefs, shines brightly as one of Spokane’s best.
“I left the front of the house because I fell in love with the kitchen,” Evans said, and thanks to some major leadership moves, she’s been able to get right back to where she feels most at home. “I’m back to working on consistency, being creative, and just loving what I’m doing again!”
We highly recommend following @ittybittybuddhabar and @littlenoodlespokane on Instagram to stay apprised of all new drinks and fresh-eats!
Little Noodle is open Tuesday through Saturday, 12-8 p.m., Sunday 12-6 p.m. but make sure to follow them online or visit their website in case anything changes.
The Itty Bitty Buddha Bar is open Tuesday and Wednesday from 12-10 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday 12-11 p.m. and Sunday 12-9 p.m. but make sure to follow them online or visit their website in case anything changes.
Have you been to Little Noodle or Itty Bitty Buddha?
Hailey Keller – Copy Editor/Contributor
A journalistic writer with an empathic soul, Hailey likes to (loudly) speak the truth and make sure everyone has a seat at the proverbial table. When not fervently championing the success of all those around her, Hailey likes to visit the Gaiser Conservatory within Manito Park, spend hours on Etsy and consume sugary treats.
Her time working at Eastern Washington University solidified her passion of advocating for those unable to advocate for themselves and establishing connections with people around the community interested in doing the same.