Pickling may seem minor, but it’s among the techniques Kin is using in more applications, along with ingredients like the unexpected bacon.
The menu covers considerable ground, including appetizers from the sushi bar like “dip dip” (choose a ceviche made from one of three kinds of raw fish, $10) or from the kitchen (crispy calamari, $8; bao buns, $7-$8; and good, tender gyoza pan-fried dumplings, $6).
The list of maki rolls is beyond extensive, whether it’s a simple, well-made spicy tuna roll ($7) or the flamboyant and saucy Hot on the State, which attacks the taste buds with soft-shell crab, cream cheese, avocado, jalapeño, seared spicy tuna, spicy mayo and a thick, soybased unagi sauce ($15). It’s in this elevated maki area where the ingredients are especially playful (pumpkin seeds, bacon jam, curry mayo, black rice).
After six months of trial and error, the chefs created a version of ramen, and while they’re not aiming for tradition, the creamy bone broth-based tonkotsu ($13) is delicious in and of itself – thick with braised pork belly, fresh egg noodles, nori, wood ear mushrooms and soft-boiled egg.
Kin by Rice n Roll
Tuesday through Saturday for lunch and dinner
Chef specialties $13-$16; ramen $12-$13; rice bowls/donburi $6-$22
Quick, very friendly
7484 W. State. St., Wauwatosa
I particularly shine to his red curry ($12), to which I add flaky roti (Indian flatbread, $1.25) as a pastry like side. And it sounds like it would be simple, but finding a pad thai that isn’t too wet and has a balance of sweet-sour and salty-spicy is a difficult task. Kin has mastered it, and with gently pan-fried tofu ($10), it seems surprisingly light. More of these simple Thai street foods will be rolled out as time goes on. Rice n Roll has enriched the local melting pot for Japanese and Southeast Asian cuisines, and Kin’s arrival makes that pot even richer.