WHO WE ARE
Already getting rumbles among travelers from Japan, Noodle Bar has impressed ramen critics and hungry Japanese travelers as Chef Marco Di Santo pours his love and passion for cooking into every dish that leaves his line. The young chef is a wizard of an invention, constantly tinkering in the kitchen to come up with unique ideas. His talent is highlighted as he turns unlikely ingredient combinations into wonderfully balanced and nuanced dishes.
Wise beyond his years, each beautiful dish is steeped in more history than you may actually expect. The young chef began to hone his culinary skills early, with his father Tony Di Santo at the helm. As a child, they were rolling out raviolis and making beautifully authentic Italian dishes that originated in Naples and were passed down to Tony from generations of his family. Passion for food built up within Chef Marco, as he continued to learn about food and expand his extensive culinary knowledge.
“We always had Food Network on in the house,” Tony admits, allowing Marco to explore his creativity. As Marco grew up, he had a natural knack for cooking and — oddly enough — baseball. When things did not fall into place for his baseball career, his cooking passion began to shine brightly, and he decided to take a job as a dishwasher at Umenoya in Torrance, CA. This is where his passion and career came to a huge turning point. This is when Marco met his mentor, Yuji Matsumoto, he had an opportunity to work one-on-one with this ramen master. With his skills finely honed, he began making noise in the Los Angeles ramen shops as one of the chief kitchen rockstars in the area.
While Tony and Marco knew they had struck gold, the passionate chef endeavored to find the right venue for his incredible talent. The two cast a wide net to search for their first restaurant location. This path leads them to a humble spot on 1st Avenue and Adams in the heart of Downtown Phoenix, which they have transformed into a stunning and hip restaurant, referred to by some as the best restaurant Downtown Phoenix can offer. Originally a split concept of Otukamen and Pat & Waldo’s, they rebranded into Noodle Bar in 2016, which has been filling and warming the bellies of Phoenician residents ever since.
These days you’ll find Chef Marco manning the kitchen of Noodle Bar, using only the freshest and highest quality ingredients. Many of his ingredients are meticulously chosen and are imported to ensure the most authentic experience, regardless of the region of Japan represented.
Guests can enjoy authentic, traditional ramen with a truly unique twist only Chef Marco Di Santo has brought to the table at this flagship Mighty Temujin concept. At Noodle Bar, authentic ramen from various regions of Japan, and elevated Italian dishes from multiple generations shine. This is how they keep local bellies full, and wary travelers excited to enjoy a true taste of home.