To-Go Box: Little Noodle on Garland adds Itty Bitty Buddha bar; plus, new places to try in Sandpoint

click to enlarge To-Go Box: Little Noodle on Garland adds Itty Bitty Buddha bar; plus, new places to try in Sandpoint
Carrie Scozzaro
Little Noodle's tiny bar debuted in June.
Things don’t always work out as planned, but Little Noodle's chef-owner Kadra Evans has learned to roll with it.

“Itty Bitty Buddha originally was supposed to be down the street behind the Garland Drinkery,” Evans says.

When that plan fell apart, she eyeballed a small storage space inside Little Noodle for her tiny new enterprise, modeling Itty Bitty Buddha after similar small bars in the Spokane area, like Bon Bon, The Baby Bar, and Bijou.


“There’s no healthy options for late night on Garland,” says Evans, who offers the full Little Noodle menu inside Itty Bitty Buddha until the main restaurant, at 713 W. Garland Ave., closes.

Then from 9 pm to close, Itty Bitty Buddha’s late-night menu kicks in, with dishes similar to Little Noodle but in smaller portions and a lower price point. Try saké clams ($10) or the rice bowl ($9) with a choice of pork belly, smoked pork or marinated chicken.

Itty Bitty Buddha serves bottled beer, wine, seltzer and assorted sake, as well as sake cocktails like the Óh Sake Sicle ($13), with fresh orange juice over crushed ice, condensed milk and house sake. The Spring Flower ($13) features housemade lemongrass syrup, lemon juice, house sake and butterfly pea tea topped with edible flowers.

During regular hours, patrons enter Itty Bitty Buddha through Little Noodle; after hours, they may access it through the alley, giving it a speakeasy feel, says Evans, who partnered with The Viking’s Steve Barclay to open the bar in June.


During renovations to create Itty Bitty Buddha, Evans discovered a hidden garage door in a greenish-taupe color, prompting her to scrap her original color scheme of black and red.

Evans kept the door, illuminated it with a red, horizontal LED and framed it in with faux greenery to simulate a live plant wall, which matches the space under the four-seat bar. Evans added sconces, also glowing red, a Queen Anne-era red velvet couch, rattan seating and tables, as well as a few stools and an Asian-inspired mural.

“I stalked a woman for three months to get that couch,” says Evans, laughing.

Sage-green walls, more LEDs that double as plant lights for the real greenery and a well-stocked but small, four-seat bar complete the interior.

Evans plans to add more cocktails once her application for a liquor license is approved — in the past it took only a few weeks but is currently several months out, she says. Fingers crossed.


OPENINGS

Sandpoint’s Ivano’s Ristorante was iconic, a longtime Italian restaurant with a highly visible location at the corner of First Avenue and Pine Streets, just as you enter downtown Sandpoint. The building (102 S. First Ave.) has two new occupants as of June.

HEART BOWLS, formerly a mobile operation at Sandpoint’s Oak Street food court, can now offer even more vegan and gluten-free toasts, smoothies, rice bowls, salads and baked goods. Many menu items feature locally sourced ingredients, like the Chunky Monkey toast ($5) with bananas, chocolate and peanut butter on choice of bread, including sourdough from nearby Bluebird Bakery. Try the Pink Unicorn smoothie ($7.50) that tastes like a vanilla coconut cupcake but actually features dragonfruit, banana, coconut milk and vanilla protein powder. Visit heartbowls.com.

In the adjacent space of the First Avenue building, BLUE ROOM offers fine dining options like marinated shrimp skewers ($15) or parmesan garlic truffle fries ($8). Entrees include seared salmon with lemon cream sauce ($28), pot roast ($28) and handhelds like the pulled pork sandwich ($16). Visit blueroomsandpoint.com.


To-Go Box is the Inlander’s regular dining news column, offering tasty tidbits and updates on the region’s food and drink scene. Send tips and updates to food@inlander.com.

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About The Author

Carrie Scozzaro

Carrie Scozzaro spent nearly half of her career serving public education in various roles, and the other half in creative work: visual art, marketing communications, graphic design, and freelance writing, including for publications throughout Idaho, Washington, and Montana.