Mention the word "ramen," and many of us will instantly have anxiety-filled memories of 10-for-$1 noodle packages at the grocery store. Your parents might have even bought a case for less than what a fast-food kid's meal would cost.
But real ramen can be found at Japanese- or Korean-style noodle houses, like Myung Ga Ramen. It opened in February and is operated by the family behind the space's former restaurant, Myung Ga Korean BBQ & Tofu House, which moved around the corner in late 2013.
Traditionally, ramen refers to both a dish and a process. It all starts with the delicious housemade broth. Then, a large batch of noodles is cooked and added to the broth. Veggies, meats and spices top it all off, and the final product is served to you in a steaming cauldron.
Myung Ga serves 10 Japanese-style ramen dishes ranging in cost from $8 to $10. Both the shoyu and tonkotsu are original to Japanese culture; the others have been updated with a chef's touch over the years. The tonkotsu even has its own unique, creamy pork-flavored broth. Add in the noodles, kikurage mushroom, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, sliced onion and scallions, and you have a meal of complex flavors and tantalizing aromas.
There are also six Korean-style noodle dishes to choose from. Topping that list is the jjamppong: spicy soup with mussels, clams, shrimp, onion, cabbage, carrots and zucchini in a bowl filled with some of the most delicious thick noodles that I have ever tasted. It's more like a cioppino with noodles and Cajun spice—flavorful and incredibly filling.
Along with the delicious dishes at Myung Ga Ramen, you will find a relaxed, calming atmosphere, where your faith in ramen will be renewed. CW