I had heard about Wagamama from a coworker of mine so I went to the new Harvard Sq location to check it out. I must admit I was quite disappointement. First of all the ambiance was loud with no privacy at all and reminded me more of a high school dining hall than a restaurant. The minimalist design didn?t allow for any sound-absorbing material and the bench seating meant I was overwhelmed by the food (and BO) of the man sitting next to me. The food was mediocre, which normally I?d excuse for a ""fast food"" place, except it was ridiculously priced. Over $11.00 for katsu curry chicken?? I could get the same thing for half the price down the street at one of the Japanese cafes in the Porter Exchange. The chicken was edible but the proportion of the spices was all wrong and so it didn't taste authentic. My dates ramen was so spicy she could hardly eat her meal. There really isn?t anything special about Wagamama. They are simply taking Japanese fast food: ramen, udon, nabemono, etc. and giving it a hipster-spin in order to charge exorbitant prices. Their ?gimmicks? such as no appetizers -- only ?side dishes? (I?m sorry, edamame and gyoza are appetizers, I don?t care whether you serve it with the meal or not), food being delivered as it?s made (so the rest of your party can sit and stare at their food while you wait for your dish to arrive), and bench seating are more annoying than they are helpful. No thanks.
Pros: hipster-appeal, waiters with mohawks and tattoos
Cons: crowded and loud, uncomfortable seating, no privacy, mediocre food