The Stop: As I explain to my man we are about to eat a noodle sandwich, he skeptically asserts, "I am normally turned off by noodles in my sandwich."
But by the time I have explained to him what he has signed up for, we have arrived and co-owner Albert Jong greets us with a "we have been friends for a long time" type of easy sincere smile. I hope I like the sandwich because I already want this truck to succeed.
The theme at Diablo is yakisoba-pan, which simply put, translates to pan-fried noodles in your sandwich. To the uninitiated, noodles in a sandwich sounds about as good as orange juice in Mickey's malt liquor. So, there is potential.
But there is more to it than that. It starts with a voluptuous bun Jong picks up fresh daily from a local Vietnamese café. Then, Jong adds yuzu citrus romaine, carrots, cabbage, big chunks of teriyaki chicken (optional), and then your choice of one of three sauces made by Jong's business partner, Billy Beach (of Japonesa).
The sauce is your biggest decision. If heat makes you wilt, then bypass all sauce choices. The sandwich packs enough zest on its own. I am all about the "Devil in Disguise," which fits the bill as the perfect sweet/spicy combo. The habanero and ghost chili are your other sauce choices. The habanero makes a great side sauce, while the ghost chili is above my tastebuds' pay grade.
Jong, the webmaster turned yakisoba-pan master, will give you a sample of each sauce before you pick your spice threshold.
How do you eat one of these hybrid noodle-bread sandwiches? With silverware or with hands? Both! Jong's advice: "It's a sandwich. Squeeze it and it will fit in your mouth." But he also packs two spoons to go along with our sandwiches just in case.
And how does this stack up to the yakisoba sandwiches in Japan? Jong asserts the base is the same, but the sauce makes this sandwich different than the rest.
Not into el pollo? Look out for specials such as a beef bulgogi yakisoba-pan or order your sub without the meat.
And in what is certainly the best bang for buck in Seattle, grab a cup of the one dollar spicy miso that comes with green onions, tofu, and a side of croutons.