I saw this yesterday driving around MdR. It’s on Washington Blvd. at the intersection of Ocean Ave. to the north/Via Marina to the south, same plaza as Tahntawan and Tajrish (and the old Killer Shrimp). Apparently this is the first US outpost of a 23-year-old Japanese ramen shop per this poorly Google-translated article.
FYI they do have the Japanese restaurant siesta between 2 and 5 and even though they say they close at 9pm on the sign they were closed by 8:30pm on Saturday night. I did not note whether they’re closed on a certain day of the week like Mondays.
Couple of notes: First, according to this map, they actually are in Venice, not MdR as I claimed, though they are right on the border.
Second, they’ll be closed for a week starting this Sunday and then reopen on April 4th with their full menu.
Third, their full menu will actually be significantly reduced, so it’s basically the tonkotsu (regular and spicy), the chuka soba, and I think one other ramen, and gyoza, but no other sides. Unfortunately, I think that means no chicken or vegetarian…
FYI - they’ve reopened earlier this month. Official menu is still pretty small, and no online version yet, though they do have a website now: http://www.veniceramen.com/
They still have the tonkotsu and spicy tonkotsu and chuka soba. I like that last one the best, with its soft, wavy noodles and clear shoyu broth, but I really like the very firm, noodles with the tonkotsu. If sushi is about rice, then the noodles helps bring the serviceable tonkotsu ramen up a notch or two.
Spicy tonkotsu is pretty good too, better than the regular tonkotsu, if you like spicy. (Apparently the chef/owner Hideki Mochizuki was the originator of the akatonkotsu “red tonkotsu” spicy ground pork sauce, but I haven’t been able to substantiate that claim.)
Kakuni is also good, big chunks of fatty pork belly stewed in a sweet ginger-soy. The kakuni don, which was $5 when I was there earlier this month, is a great bargain. Gyozas are pretty darn good too!
It’s funny there is nothing in the individual elements that say’s ‘wow’ but as a whole it really is one of my favorite bowl of ramen in town. The noodles are very toothsome, Broth is not too fatty but has that lip smacking porky goodness. The menma stands out vs the bamboo that others use. I like the spicy pork.
That’s a good way of thinking about it. The sum is greater than its parts. He house-makes the menma, fermenting/drying and then rehydrating before service. He also housemakes the noodles. He showed me how strong the curly chuka soba noodle is by stretching it (before cooking) probably 1.5x the length before it snapped. I like how soft it is without being mushy. Similarly, like I said above, I really like how al dente the noodles for the tonkotsu are.
We are definitely having ramen weather and Venice Ramen is still the raining champ for me. The tonkotsu broth is so porky with out being heavy or fatty. Thin noodles have so much bite and I love how the thin sliced bamboo barely marinaded intertwines with the noodles -they couldn’t be more different than the bamboo shoots (menma) at Tentenryu which are also incredible. They do the egg fully cooked as an fyi but well marinaded.
Btw I noticed they have started with house made gyoza - they looked really good and larger size than normal for sure.
Give them another try, it could be you just don’t like there style but they are my favorite. They are about as opposite as it is possible to be from the Tsujita style. It is a thinner broth with very little fat but is still very porky and lip smacking. The noodles are very thin and have a lot of bite; Chashu is the leaner pork loin as well although I did see kukuni going by on a rice dish so maybe they will sell it as an add on?