noodlecat. noodlecat. noodlecat.

I’m so excited for this to open, I just can’t stop saying the name.

If you’re active on Facebook, then you’ve likely seen people “liking” Noodlecat over the past few months. And this week, the proverbial cat was let out of the bag so to speak as to what this secretive restaurant is exactly and who was the masked man, er chef, er, duo, behind it. It’s Team Sawyer of course!

Noodlecat, slated to open later this summer, will be in the former Theresa’s Pizza locale on Public Square near the soon-to-open Pura Vida. According to Amelia Sawyer, the restaurant, “will be a mash-up of Japanese and American cooking. It will be both modern and traditional.”

Added chef Jonathon Sawyer, “We wanted to do noodles for a long time now. We think this will translate really well to Ohio, like what we did at [Bar] Cento with Roman food. We can tell a similar story here and showcase what’s unique to Ohio.”

With the opening of Noodlecat, the goal for the Sawyers was to have clarity of concept.  “Noodles tend to be lumped together in Cleveland. Really muddled in fact and you don’t get to see what authentic Japanese noodles are,” explained the chef.

“The main point is for us to have fun, and be the second certified green restaurant in Ohio,” he added. “We’ll be casual, really fast, a lot of fun and all under $15.”

Just like their flagship Greenhouse Tavern, a lot of staples will be made by the chefs, like rice wine vinegar and a local fish sauce he’s currently working on. He’s also excited to embrace more healthy and veggie-based options, and of course, sourcing a ton of local, quality ingredients.

A sneak peek at the lunch and dinner menu is enough to make you want to relocate downtown. While it’s still a work in progress, some of the items include:

  • Slow Soy Cooked Eggs n Soldiers w/ Japanese white bread, crispy snap peas & tempura potato
  • Broiled Rice Balls w/ seasonal ingredients
  • BBQ Pork Belly Steam Bun
  • Ohio Beef Burger Steam Bun
  • Veggie Miso Steam Bun
  • BBQ Blue Fish Steam Bun
  • Pork and Clam Soba w/ BBQ smoked pork country sausage, salted cured chili paste, burnt citrus fruit, toasted garlic, young shallot & bottarga
  • Crispy Veggie Tempura Soba w/ seasonal vegetables, miso paste, tofu, peas, scallion & shitake mushrooms
  • Spicy She Crab Udon w/ ginger, garlic, young shallot, crab paste, spinach, house made surimi & soft boiled egg
  • San Fransisco Surf n’ Turf Ramen w/ poached scallop, wild mushrooms, pasture raised ohio chicken, young shallot & sliced radishes
  • Chilled Ohio Soba w/ ponzu, crispy peas, shredded nori, scallion & wasabi
  • Su Tofu Udon w/ wakame seaweed, warm dashi, shitake mushrooms & soft boiled tofu
  • Whole Roasted Suckling Pig w/ oysters, BBQ, buns, horseradish vodka & condiments
  • Very Spicey Whole Crab w/ rice cakes, lots of Garlic, Fish Sauce & Chili  customers are advised to wear a bibb
  • Salt Grill Sustainable Himachi w/ oysters, pickled veggies, chilled unfiltered sweet sake, buns & condiments
  • Sustainable Sashimi Style Plate w/ pickled veggie, salt cured chili paste & calamansi

“A noodle place like this will make people happy,” concluded Sawyer. I concur.


  1. Posted April 14, 2011 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    I am so excited. I see me making many excuses to have meetings downtown in my future.

  2. Jacquie
    Posted April 14, 2011 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Michelle, I caught you on New Day today and I’m sure you will blog about it later, but you looked fantastic and you did a great job! Good to see you still blogging. I’ll try to be better about reading this fabulous blog of yours!

  3. Posted April 14, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    This place is gonna do great. Especially for Mon-Fri lunches. Much better idea than a pizza place.

  4. Posted April 14, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Noodles make lots of people happy, including this girl, so I am looking forward to their opening!

  5. Lyndsay
    Posted April 14, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Can’t wait! Awesome video!

  6. Moareen
    Posted April 14, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    When will you review Flour Restaurant? We don’t wanna go till you tell us it’s ok.

  7. Holly
    Posted April 14, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    This type of restaurant would do well in Elyria, how about starting one there?

  8. Michelle V
    Posted April 17, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    @Moareen – I probably won’t write about Flour for another week or two. But you should go – really like the space and food! It’s ok :)

  9. kelly
    Posted April 18, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    so excited!

  10. Posted May 4, 2011 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    I bow down humbly in the presncee of such greatness.

  11. Posted August 2, 2011 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Really looking forward to trying this out next time I’m up in Cleveland!

  12. Anonymous
    Posted August 16, 2011 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    I was really looking forward to checking out a new Japanese restaurant in Cleveland. While the food was great it was way overpriced. 4$ for two rice balls. 60$ for three people to eat with one drink. Not only that, but the interior wasn’t what I expected. The paint made the atmosphere seem cramped, the chairs were uncomfortable metal/wood stools, the music was retro American top 40 (it just didn’t fit with the “noodle house theme”), and there wasn’t even any Japanese Decoration, something I was really looking forward to appreciating. Perhaps instead of seemingly having way more servers than needed they should cut costs and reflect that in their menu & decoration. I would unfortunately not come back unless the prices were more reasonable for a college budget.

  13. Noodle lover
    Posted August 23, 2011 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    First let me say that I support local chefs, the courage to open a new place, and the greenhouse tavern. I have been a fan of sawyers since three birds. Let me also say that I am a huge fan of all types of asain foods. So, after giving the new ramen house time to settle in I decided to visit and enjoy a bowl. I don’t mind spending money when I go out to eat Even if it’s a bowl of noodles for fifteen dollars. But I must say I was very disappointed in portion to price ratio. While the flavors where clean and fresh, The surf and turf literally had two clams one scallop cut up and two shreds of shredded chicken. Which was advertised on the bone, and worst of all the soba was overcooked. Poor representation of something so simple. I guess hype will keep you employed, but how long will it keep the doors to a good idea open? I won’t be headed back and I won’t be suggesting to eat there like I have to his other establishment.

  14. mom
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    It looks like he found chairs and tables down his basement and made a restaurant. The napkins were actually handcut with scissors and not even straight. The food was overpriced for sure. $30 for a 1 person lunch. They dont even have regular non-alcohlic drinks. The ramen noodles you add hot water to had a lot more flavor then theirs. Big disappointment.

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