photo credit: Teddy Wolff
At some point, you’ve probably experienced ordering anxiety. You stare at a menu with seven dishes that sound promising, trying to picture the future you want for yourself. Just as you start to forget how to read and who you are, the server comes over. You pick one $27 entree like you’re going to ask for its hand in marriage, then spend the next 20 minutes trying not to look distracted while your friend reenacts her phone call with the cable company and you consider changing your order.
At Nonono, there’s no need to worry about pledging your eternal soul to the wrong thing, because you won’t be ordering just one dish. You’ll be ordering 10. This Japanese restaurant in Nomad from the people behind Her Name is Han and Take 31 (two Korean restaurants we really like) has a menu so huge and reasonably priced that you can basically get as much as you want, like you’re some prince or person with a credit card problem.
If an LSAT study book were replaced with photographs of Japanese food, it would look a lot like the menu here. It comes in a little binder, and side effects of flipping through it include not listening to what anyone is saying to you and an intense urge to order too much food. There’s a lot to choose from - 40 or so yakitori skewers, plus everything from fried chicken and ramen to sushi - and almost nothing costs more than $15.
You’ll be tempted to get something from every section, and the good news is that you probably can - especially if you’re with a group. The yakitori skewers are mostly $3 or $4 each, and your options range from various chicken parts to beef, pork, fish, and vegetables (including an entire skewer of garlic). They’re seasoned and then cooked on a grill that you see as you walk in, and while these skewers are the main attraction, Nonono’s many other dishes are equally affordable and great for sharing. Some of our favorites are the tori liver pate with ginger and a rainbow sushi roll that comes with grated parmesan on top. Just be aware that the food will arrive at your table almost immediately, and pretty much all at the same time - so if you hate slow service, you’ll love it here, and if you get overwhelmed easily, consider ordering a little at a time.
If you wanted to try every single thing on Nonono’s menu, you’d have to make eating here your side hustle. And we fully endorse that. Instead of suffering from ordering anxiety, you’ll enjoy the thrill of trying lots of different, excellent things, every time. We’ll keep coming back to Nonono until that feeling gets old.
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These are dense, rich, and very good. Clear eyes, full chicken hearts, can’t lose.
The oyster is the little oval-shaped piece of dark meat on the part of the chicken where the back meets the thigh. If you could reduce the taste of a very good rotisserie chicken into one bite, this would be it.
A nicely-cooked piece of salmon with tomato and a creamy sauce on top. It’s a mini version of the kind of dinner we want to make for ourselves once a week. You’ll want it, too.
These are smaller and a little tough. They’re not bad, but you could skip them.
Two soft-boiled eggs, each wrapped in bacon with truffle oil on top. This is the most intense breakfast on a stick you could invent, and it’s great.
We’d definitely order this again.
This one wasn’t as crispy as we would have liked - we’d skip it next time.
Once upon a time, a sushi roll fell in love with a bowl of pesto pasta. This is their baby, and you should eat it. Sharp parmesan, basil sauce, and fresh fish. We were a little skeptical, but it definitely works.
Tori Liver Pate
Possibly our favorite non-yakitori dish here. Make sure to eat the ginger and pate together for the full effect. We might start carrying around pickled ginger when we go to French restaurants from now on.
Imagine a potato that got mashed and then put back into the shape of a potato. And then they top it with creamy anchovy sauce. Sounds like potato art, but it’s unfortunately a little bland.
A bowl with both rice and stir-fried soba noodles, plus pork, an omelette, and bonito flakes on top. If you want a noodle dish, you won’t be disappointed with this one.
Shio Paitan Ramen
A bowl of rich, chicken-based ramen with chicken and pork on top. Worth ordering whether you’re alone or with a group, even though it’s harder to share.
Nonono Kara Age
The fried chicken has a nice light batter, but it could have used a bit more seasoning. Make use of the lemon that comes on the side.