Ready, get set, slurp. Tuesday, January 16, marks the soft opening of Yoshi Ramen, a new shop located in the Marq Uptown building on 3320 Harmon Ave. Regular service begins Friday, January 19, although weather may delay that date.
The concept is from chef Stacy Chen, the owner of longtime vegan staple Veggie Heaven and the daughter of Veggie Heaven founder, Mei Chen. The new restaurant pays homage to Chen’s grandmother, who operated a ramen shop in Osaka in the ’80s, with decor that playfully nods to tradition.
Unlike many shops around town, Yoshi does not focus primarily on one type of ramen. The wide-ranging menu offers several styles like salt-seasoned shio; pork bone-based tonkotsu; and a vegan miso ramen with soy protein, spinach, bok choy, roasted tomatoes, corn, and bamboo shoots. There are also a few lesser known styles like tantanmen, a Chinese-influenced dish similar to dan dan noodles, featuring a pork bone and chicken broth, bean sprouts, roasted jalapeño, and minced sesame pork.
On February 15, the menu will expand to include ramen burgers and donburi rice bowls. The burgers are made with a ramen bun topped with Angus beef or a vegan patty and various toppings like pickled onion, chili aioli, and slaw. The donburi will be available with chashu pork, shoyu tare (a soy-based sauce) chicken, barbecue pork belly, Sichuan chicken, and soy protein.
To go along with the bowls, Yoshi offers a range of starters, from favorites like fried spring rolls, edamame, fried gyoza (both pork and plant-based), and bao sliders to original dishes like Yoshi fries topped with chashu pork bits, scallions, and a cilantro-basil yuzu aioli.
The drink menu is small but considered. There is no liquor license, but Yoshi offers a small selection of Japanese and local beers and sparkling cocktails like the Full of Passion, champagne with a passion fruit infusion, and mimosas. For nondrinkers, the menu offers matcha milk teas in mango and strawberry.
Yoshi Ramen initial hours are 5-10pm, seven days a week. Lunch and an expanded menu will be launched in the upcoming weeks.