A new noodle bar has opened in North Brooklyn.
No Strings Attached Noodle Bar (135B North 5th St.), also called NSA, is a fusion restaurant by restaurateurs Chiwa Yeung and Spencer Cartledge, and Executive Chef Brooke Apfelbaum.
Yeung and Cartledge, both architectural designers, met while studying at the Pratt Institute, and the two college friends eventually became business partners, buying La Margarita Pizza on the Lower East Side in March 2020. Obviously, not the best time to take on a new restaurant, the two, along with newly hired chef, Apfelbaum, pivoted to selling pasta kits to earn revenue.
The kits’ popularity led to the creation of NSA, and the team wanted a brick and mortar space for the concept, which fuses Japanese and Italian-American fare.
NSA’s opening menu includes seasonal gyoza with peanut butter sauce, stuffed macaroni bites with Japanese sausage, scallop crudo with yuzu and caviar and more inventive appetizers. Main courses, both family-style and individually portioned, include house-made pasta, like garganelli with Wagyu ragu and parmesan fettuccine with seared Japanese scallops and garlic chips. An elegant uni creme angel hair with nori panko rounds out the pasta menu.
On the ramen side, guests can choose from truffle tonkatsu ramen, smoky tempeh miso ramen, chilled yuzu shrimp ramen and more.
NSA is truly a collaborative affair, with the chef’s older brother, Samuel Apfelbaum, running the beverage program. While the restaurant waits for a liquor license, mocktails will be served.
NSA Noodle Bar is built a sleek, minimalist space with bar seating and a small dining room with tables and counter seating. Adorned with homemade pottery and art that is all contributed by the staff and close friends, the restaurant embodies creativity at every level.