DINER: Big Ramen Pop-Up “No. 1 Noodle House” Destined For Original Boneta Space

March 21, 2013.

by Andrew Morrison | Restaurateur Mark Brand (Save On Meats, Boneta, etc.) has joined forces with first timers Tyrell Shaw, Lindsay Lapierre, Matt MacDougall, and Alex Usow (his Sharks + Hammers, Sea Monstr Sushi partner) to open No. 1 Noodle House in the old 1 West Cordova address (the original Boneta spot at Carrall and Cordova in Gastown).

It’s basically a big ramen joint. They’ve been researching the hell out of broths and are now onto noodles (heading to LA on a ramen spree next week). The menu will be small – just three ramens (soy, pork, maybe chicken), fried chicken wings, bao buns, salads and Banh Mi sandwiches – with a small beer, sake and spirits component.

The place will be geared towards the chefs who work on the line all night and then don’t have many options for food and drink when they clock out. No. 1 Noodle House might stay open until as late as 4am, with a capacity for 75-90 people. Guest chefs will also regularly moonlight to create specialty dishes of their own.

Right now, the concept is for a 7 month pop-up, which Brand describes as a “business incubator”. If it works, they might stay or move somewhere else. Opening day is scheduled for late April or early May.


  • Conrad Yablonski

    Ramen all tastes the same.

  • lol

    Ramen for white people by white people

  • Scout Magazine

    @Conrad Do you mean all ramen tastes the same? Either way, you’re very mistaken.

    @lol Chef Tatsushi is entirely Japanese.

  • Mark E. Mark

    I wish more places would offer a vegetarian ramen.

  • TD

    Every part of this description is Momofuku.

  • AC

    @lol Maybe it’s just food. For the people. We all love to eat- especially after a long night working in restaurants. Sounds delicious!

  • Really?

    Just came back from a biz trip in Toronto and based on a recommendation from a local friend had some tasty ramen and snacks at this spot http://www.aokfoods.ca/ Are the two affiliated? If not this seems like a total rip off. Must we appropriate EVERYTHING from our country’s biggest city?

  • JB

    Nothing from Scout on this?

    A Vancouver restaurantuer completely ripping of a concept, logo, menu and even the colour scheme from a business in Toronto.

    This is fine with everyone?

    Ramen shops aren’t anything new but you would think the sign could be a little different. I’m sure the peeps at AOK are pissed!

  • Scout Magazine

    Sorry, JB. It’s chiefly because I think that your accusation is a little on the weak side. For starters, the branding is significantly different (the only thing they have in common is a hand). If the peeps at AOK are pissed then they are reacting without cause. Seeing as Toronto had its ramen/izakaya scene pretty well imported from Vancouver, it’s funny to imagine one of its establishments getting uppity about conceptual theft. I really doubt that it happened in this case. I appreciate you as a reader, but your comments sort of read like you have an axe to grind. What’s up?

  • JB

    I’m not sure about that Scout.

    The hand, colours and general design, etc. If you don’t think that’s a straight rip then we’ll have to agree to disagree.

    No major axe grinding, I just saw the sign going up and I honestly thought it was AOK opening at Boneta. Then I realized it wasn’t. I googled No.1 Noodle house and here we are.

  • Mr Paywall

    If anyone, they ripped off Sea Monstr’s branding. Who did AOK rip off when they made their logo/design? Or did they get a trademark on white logos on red backgrounds? :)

    Next you’re going to be whining to me about a Japanese ramen place using a Chinese restaurant font in their logo.

    PS. Yours Truly/A-OK’s owners are from Vancouver


  • pablopicante

    @ Really?

    while Momofuku or any noodle house isn’t entirely an original restaurant concept (i’d defy you to think of one), AOK seems to have taken a trip or two there for most of their inspiration. so to accuse anyone down the line of “appropriating” anything from AOK seems really funny to me.


    a chubbily mangled human hand with a Japanese flag as a backdrop does not a logo make.
    you’re insulting good design work by drawing any comparison between these two signs.

  • Scout Magazine

    The funny thing is, the branding for Sea Monstr Sushi, AOK and No. 1 were all done by the same dude.

  • pablopicante

    never would’ve guessed it – the work for Sea Monstr is leagues above AOK’s.

  • Robert

    Seriously? We’re surprised that everyone copies each other? :P

  • Noodle Thug

    1) Both restaurants names are similar A OK vs No 1
    2) The concepts are identical- hip ramen
    3) The branding is identical- both a hand making gesture/colour scheme etc
    4) I bet you the menu’s will be identical – two kinds of ramen one will be non traditional, the snacks etc.

  • Scout Magazine

    In case readers aren’t aware, Noodle Thug attended the very special Let’s Change The Definition Of “Identical” Conference and was given a free T-shirt for being especially keen.

  • Noodle Thug

    I’m really excited that Mark Brand has given you guys enough free meal tokens to keep you in his pocket.

  • Scout Magazine

    Wrong again. Thanks for trying.

  • Noodle Thug

    I mean if that’s the case then you just played yourself.

  • Scout Magazine

    OK. Thanks for reading and top marks for the unintentionally perfect Ice T lyric:

    “But who told you to front and flaunt your grip?
    You can’t buy no relationship
    You played yourself…”

    Have a great day being an anonymous troll.

    PS. You’re the best.

  • litthug

    @Scoutmagazine The lady doth protest too much, methinks. Why is a (supposedly) legitimate publication even bothering to acknowledge claims like these in the COMMENTS section of a throw away article about nothing if there is no validity to any of this?

  • Scout Magazine

    Kicks, I guess.

  • http://Swag Swag

    Swag jack. Straight up. Toronto should be pissed.

  • Dundadda

    Y’all are arguing about food and designs.

    Japanese food for white people (hopefully not to spicy?).

    Mark Brand = friend of Scout Mag.
    Scout Mag “repays” the friendship with favorable reviews and writeups.
    Mark Brand gives Scout some free meals, a handshake and a hug in return for favorable reviews.

    …and the cycle continues. Shit. Shave. Shower.

  • Scout Magazine

    Dundadda. That’s quite the series of inventions there. Mark Brand bought me a hot dog at a hockey game once, but that was it. We pay for our meals and write whatever the fuck we want. Thanks for reading, though.

  • Dundadda

    Scout. I’m not disputing that you don’t write whatever the fuck you want. I’m stating facts.

    Mark Brand is a friend.. Check.

    Scout Mag writes nice reviews for his restaurants. Check
    (Never read a bad one even though I question the quality of Save On Meats, Portside and Sea Monstr.)

    If not a free meal but for sure a handshake and a hug. half check.

    How was the hot dog? I love hot dogs!

    Thanks for writing. Just be more honest in your reviews, even when they are your friends.

  • whoa

    Well, that escalated quickly..

  • Mr Paywall

    He just exposed the Scout-Mark Brand conspiracy. Mind officially blown.

  • Scout Magazine

    Thanks for the typo correction.

  • Effy

    I think the name No.1 Noodle House is a great play on the address and I love knowing the fact there will be a late night noodle joint after binge-drinking and sweaty dancing in Gastown!

    I also wish there are more veggie ramen options and the limited menu is the way ramen is supposed to be! Quick, simple, no brainer, eat and move on!

    I don’t understand why everyone is harping on Scout and Mark Brand tho. The article is simply an announcement of an upcoming food joint not an actual review of its food, service or otherwise. Scout Mag writes a lot of nice reviews for many establishments, Mark Brand just happens to have a few more in the lower mainland. I’m just glad I’m not seeing reviews for DHG, Glowbal, Cactus and the like.

    Seriously, guys?

  • Jo

    Excellent !

    Current king is Santouka on Robson. The spicy miso with pork jowl is stunning. Bring your A game No.1 noodle house.

  • T

    I’m surprised Scout is so snarky about comments. It comes off as insecure. Seems like par for the course with blogging that some people make intelligent comments and some people are nut bars. But why does it still bother you (Scout/Mr. Morrison)? I’m disappointed. I thought you were very busy and important.

  • Mr Paywall

    Thanks for the psychoanalysis Mr Nutbar.

  • Scout Magazine

    [reminder: must comment in manner appropriate to maintenance of too busy and important appearance]

  • avis

    if the design was done by the same person, and the designer has a specific trademark illustrative style, of course all the logos are going to look somewhat similar…..u could maybe accuse the designer having a lack of imagination and the client not getting their bang for buck……but really, not a big deal, the deal is whether the food lives up to the hype!! i wonder if they are keen on takeouts? been dying to have a noodle shop around here.

  • dori

    @Scout Your coverage is of great benefit to the city. As much as I enjoy it, it would be so much better if you could let the debate go on without trying to convince all the folks that disagree with you. Agree with T on the “snarky” comment.

  • KingsLeadHat

    Dying to have a noodle shop around here? There’s this place a few blocks away called Hon’s; perhaps you’ve heard of it. (The branding for No. 1 Noodle House is racist as hell, btw. Ramen by white people for white people, indeed.)

  • http://storiesfirst.ca Want Noodle Options

    There were no rice noodle options, so easy and cheap to offer – yet none provided. Also vegetarian option. Many many ramen houses across North America have these things – it is not too hard…

  • James

    Not the greatest experience. I think this pop up should pop away. And leave the ramen to people who actually know good Japanese food. The concept is way too slick and wanna be glossy for the food to actually be any good. The service is ok.

  • Aran

    Go to yelp or Urban Spoon and read the reviews before eating here.

    I just had lunch there and got F*#*& robbed. Place is terrible.

  • Jackson Kwon

    wow, Aran good thing I saw your comment to check out the yelp reviews, 1.5 stars!

    I was going to give this a shot but 75-90 people capacity seems kinda odd to me. when I went to Japan a friend who showed me around Tokyo told me a lot of the best Japanese restaurants had limited seating capacity so that they could focus on consistently good food for a small number of people. I think the inverse is probably true in this case since most of the yelp reviews refer to how bland and tasteless the broth is.

    also isn’t that font they use in the logo the Chinese take-out menu font?

  • Terry

    I can find this noodle house anymore!!!

  • Want some whine with those veg

    Don’t be a vegetarian then… it’s not too hard…

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