Tuesday, September 17, 2013 , Updated 1:28 p.m., September 26, 2013
UPDATED: Dallas’ first ramen restaurant is now open
Tanoshii in Deep Ellum will stay open until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
DEEP ELLUM Ramen has made appearances on Dallas menus sporadically, but we didn't have a restaurant devoted to the Asian noodle until now: Tanoshii Ramen + Bar opens
September 24 September 25 in Deep Ellum.
[UPDATE: According to Facebook, Tanoshii is pushing its opening date back to Wednesday.]
Tanoshii is the buzzed-about restaurant from Joey and Chi Le, who also own Wicked Po Boys in Richardson and the short-lived restaurant of the same name in Preston Center in Dallas, which is now under a remodel. [UPDATE: It has since closed.]
Dallas has needed a ramen restaurant for awhile, says Dallas Morning News critic Leslie Brenner. And while she found it at Charlie Palmer at the Joule, 20 Feet Seafood Joint and Woodshed Smokehouse, Tanoshii is all ramen, all the time.
"The trend is picking up momentum, big-time," Brenner said in a story about fashionable plates in Dallas this fall.
The ramen craze has boiled over in New York and LA, and the Le's have arrived just in time in Dallas: Consider 2013 the year of ramen. "Last year, we saw chefs with fine-dining experience pushing tacos; this year, the hipsters will be opening ramen shops," said chef/owner Leor Zimerman in a story in the National Post. "I see a whole different kind of ramen hitting the scene." Fox News and other media outlets have even suggested the ramen burger -- buns made of fried ramen -- could be the latest food craze.
First things, first, Dallas: a ramen restaurant.
Tanoshii will stay open until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The dinner menu includes street ramen like the traditional tonkotsu as well as spicy miso and curry ($11-14); soupless ramen such as noodles with pork belly ($11); and small plates like edamame ($5) and hamachi ($12).
Late-night diners can order steamed buns like a braised pork belly buns with spicy mayo, iceburg, cucumber and cilantro ($9); or an option of three ramen hot pots ($18-20). Dumplings -- either pork and shrimp, or kimchi and tofu -- cost $7.
A notable number of items on the menu are vegan.
Designers Coeval Studios decorated the interior. The company also designed Belly & Trumpet in Uptown, PakPao in the Design District, Mutts in West Village and Kitchen LTO in West Dallas. According to John Paul Valverde in a press release, the restaurant will maintain parts of the old Deep Ellum building, with concrete floors and partial brick walls.
The bar will sell craft cocktails, Asian and domestic beers, sake, Japanese whiskey and wine.