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BITE US: Noodle Bar, Tacoma Boys, and NorthWest Vintage Wine Bar

The good word in the South Sound

Pacific Grill has opened the Noodle Bar inside its downtown Tacoma location.

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Pacific Grill pop-up

Blame the economy's downturn. Or blame creative thinking. Whatever the reason, pop-up restaurants - temporary restaurants in private homes, other restaurants, galleries, street corners, abandoned buildings and, hopefully, the Weekly Volcano World Headquarters lunchroom - seem to be all the rage, at least in the major cities. Pop-up restaurants are a great way to allow chefs to experiment with new menus without the risk of bankruptcy. And, unlike underground supper clubs, they're legal.

Beginning Thursday, a late night pop-up restaurant will, er, pop-up inside the Pacific Grill in downtown Tacoma. As promised back in January, the Noodle Bar will finally take over Pacific Grill's bar every Thursday with ramen bowls, which PG patrons have enjoyed on the bar menu since January. PG owner Gordon Naccarato has added Asian street food and small plates to his Noodle Bar pop-up, an expansion of his original concept. Chefs Naccarato and Ian Thompson know Thailand and Japan like the back of their noren. They found the sheer variety of curries, seafood, noodle and rice dishes offered at the myriad of "food courts" and open markets in these countries gives them an exciting culinary tinge. They're eager to introduce their honed Asian street food skills in the form of tonkatsu, Asian slaw, snake beans, quail eggs, fish balls and more.

Patrons will be able to customize their ramen bowls, choosing from chicken, spicy curry coconut, organic miso or classic ramen broths for chukka or udon noodles that will swim with eight different vegetables. Ramen additions, for an additional cost, include soft-boiled egg, rock shrimp, pulled pork char sui, duck, chicken, beef or all of the above.

Most Noodle Bar offerings - as well as Japanese sakes and beers - will be at happy hour prices, which translate into half off.  - Ron Swarner

[Pacific Grill Noodle Bar, Thursdays, 9 p.m. to midnight, 1502 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.627.3535]

Go Italian

Spend some time sampling all things Italian, Saturday June 26 at the Sixth Avenue Tacoma Boys. The day will be highlighted by a special visit from Tuscan winemaker Alessandro Bocci of Perazzetta Winery, located in a region of Tuscany south of Montalcino. Bocci is a hands-on producer of Montecucco wines.  Also, try coffees, cured meats and Italian cheeses; most of the world's tasty cheese has origins in Italy, after all. Listen to Bocci talk of Tuscan travel and learn why people are so passionate about Italian wines and food. The whole thing is free, and runs noon to 5 p.m.

Hanging in P-Town and need a little more Bocci in your life? This week's Sunday dinner gets fancy at NorthWest Vintage Wine Bar. The wine bar and South Hill Tacoma Boys have partnered up for "An Evening in Italy" - and Alessandro Bocci is back! This time, he'll share personal insight on six of his wines paired with family-style dishes for an intimate wine dinner experience. Any of the Perazzetta wines tasted during the evening will be available for order at NorthWest Vintage and can be purchased directly from Tacoma Boys Tacoma or Puyallup locations.  Dinner seats can be reserved through NorthWest Vintage Wine Bar at $50 per person. Dinner is 5-7 p.m., June 27.  - Jennifer Johnson

[Tacoma Boys, 5602 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.756. 0902]

[Tacoma Boys, 901 39th Ave. SW, Puyallup, 253. 864.8568]

[NorthWest Vintage Wine Bar, 208 S. Meridian, Puyallup, 253.864.9463]

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