The downstairs restaurant space under the Stuart Court Apartments has provided a home for innumerable restaurants since I arrived in Richmond back in the autumn of 1999. Nobody would laugh at you much if you suggested that the spot was cursed, much like some other locations that have, in the past, rotated through their fair share of owners and/or dining establishments. But curses break, and now Elephant Thai has stuck around at Cary and Harrison for some time. Garnett's has a comfortable hold on the corner of Park and Meadow.
I'm not sure that My Noodle & Bar is the solution to this basement dining room's short attention span.
My Noodle has been open for a couple of weeks as of this writing, and my dinner tonight tasted like they're still working on their product. I started with an appetizer called "Thai sun dried beef" that was actually dried by some non-breaded deep frying. It wasn't bad, but improved quite a bit after dipping in some nondescript, slightly spicy sauce.
My main course was chicken and galangal (a relative of ginger) soup that included a coconut broth and rice noodles. This dish was an odd duck. On one hand, the chicken looked/felt/tasted as if it had simply been chopped then roasted or stir-fried, then dropped into the bowl of soup after the fact. Same story with the broccoli. Neither had much flavor. The noodles themselves were perhaps a bit more al dente than I expected, but not enough to be a problem. The broth - while sweet and tasty coating the other components of the dish, was overwhelmingly sweet after a few spoonfuls.
I think it's exam week at VCU as I write this, so parking close to Stuart Circle is still kinda tricky on a week night. Tricky enough that I've passed up trying out My Noodle a few times already. I think I'll hold off on a return trip until the semester is over, but I do want to go back. Maybe soups aren't their thing. Perhaps I should ask about their favorite dishes (though my soup was listed as a "chef's special" already). Next time.