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Everything is good at Ramen House

by Robin Garr » Tue Dec 31, 2019 5:58 pm

Everything is good at Ramen House

Shio ramen at Ramen House topped with a delicious portion of roast cha siu pork.
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Thoughts upon eating edamame at Ramen House: If you’re supposed to get at these delicious little underripe-soybean snacks by popping the beans out of the inedible pod, what’s the point in seasoning the outside of the pod?

A taste of Ramen House’s amazing spicy garlic edamame ($5.50) explains it all for us. Grab a pod and, in traditional fashion, pull it through your teeth so the little white beans pop out in your mouth, there to be seasoned by the mix of salt, garlic, red pepper, and oil that comes off the pod in the process. Chew, swallow, repeat, and before you know it, the bowl is empty and you still want more.

And that’s not all! According to the journal Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, edamame are rich in the antioxidant kaempferol, which has been shown to cause weight loss and lower blood sugar. Okay, in animal studies, but for a dish as good as Ramen House’s version, I’m willing to be a human test subject. 

Yes, they are that good, and that was just a preview of our dinner at Ramen House. Everything we ate was not just delicious but memorable. These folks do ramen right. With the recent loss of Mirin in Clifton and its New Albany branch, and before that the disappearance of Lydia House with its worthy ramen, a new spot that does ramen right is to be cherished.

Even something as simple as Ramen House’s hot green tea ($2) is extraordinary, clear, pale yet strong, with a clean herbal scent and deep flavor that somehow speaks of the sea. It comes in a pretty white earthenware pot with large stoneware mugs.

The dining room is more plain than fancy, a dark box at the back end of Mid City Mall that previously housed Bazo's Fresh Mexican Grill, and in years past, the beloved City Cafe. The new owners have brightened it up with Japanese graphics and tchotchkes, including about 100 assorted tiny Funko Pop figures on a rail around the upper reaches of the room.

The menu is centered on ramen, of course, but there’s also a selection of donburi rice bowls, many expanding the bill of fare’s range to Korea with bulgogi (grilled beef or chicken) and bibimbap (egg-topped veggie rice bowl).

Pricing is fair, with nine ramen choices ranging in price from $10.50 (for either of the vegetarian options, Japanese curry or veggie ramen) to $14 (for super-spicy “Hell” ramen). Ramen comes with your choice of cha siu roast pork or chicken, with about a dozen add-ins available for a modest surcharge. ...

Read the full review on LouisvilleHotBytes,
http://www.louisvillehotbytes.com/ramen-house

You'll also find this review in LEO Weekly's Food & Drink section today.
https://www.leoweekly.com/2019/12/every ... men-house/

Ramen House
1250 Bardstown Road, Suite 17A
Mid City Mall
709-4374
https://facebook.com/RamenHouseLouisville

Robin Garr's rating: 91 points.

Noise level: Every table was filled after a movie ended at Baxter Avenue theaters next door, but the sound level was moderate. (Average sound was 78dB, on the high end of the conversational range.)

Accessibility: The restaurant appears fully accessible to wheelchair users.
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Steve Eslinger

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Re: Everything is good at Ramen House

by Steve Eslinger » Wed Jan 01, 2020 7:35 pm

This place is great. I loved them when they were Ramen Inochi, but I think they've upped their game at the new location. I'm a huge fan of their buns, and I really like the incorporation of more Korean slanted options.Your description of the Japanese curry ramen intrigues me as I've never had it. I'm not a huge curry lover but some of the variations have appealed to me and this sounds like one that might.
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Re: Everything is good at Ramen House

by Dan E » Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:32 am

Ramen House is definitely on my list and I'm excited to to check it out, particularly with Mirin now closed.

Robin, I believe I recall you mentioning that you didn't care for the establishment, but I'm a big fan of the ramen at Chick N & Mi. The miso pork ramen is very solid if youre into miso-y things, and i always ask for the garlic and chili threads on the side to apply to my taste.

When in season, I think the duck ramen is even better. I hadn't been for a while but grabbed some for lunch new year's eve day and remembered how much I enjoyed it. I'd venture to say as good as Mirin, if not better (IMO, of course).

I also thoroughly enjoy the chicken nuggets with the jao bong and ranch on the side. I usually go dark meat for my chicken, but these are solid, and I really appreciate that they call them chicken nuggets instead of boneless wings(personal issue). Boneless wings aren't a thing and don't resemble wings at all. I LIKE chicken nuggets, don't get me wrong, but they aint wings dammit.

What were we talking about again...oh yeah, Chick N & Mi makes a worthy ramen, so I'd say to check it out, particularly if you're missing Mirin.

And as stated, I need to make it out to Ramen House ASAP
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Robin Garr

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Re: Everything is good at Ramen House

by Robin Garr » Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:51 am

Dan, I hear you with respect, and I probably ought to check in to ChikN & Mi again. To be fair, the same folks own Hearth on Mellwood, and I liked it a lot. But doggone it, I went to C&M three times, trying my darndest to be happy, and it was just never up to standard for me. Again, that was all during its first three months or so, so ... it might be time. :)
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Re: Everything is good at Ramen House

by Dan E » Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:20 am

Robin Garr wrote:Dan, I hear you with respect, and I probably ought to check in to ChikN & Mi again. To be fair, the same folks own Hearth on Mellwood, and I liked it a lot. But doggone it, I went to C&M three times, trying my darndest to be happy, and it was just never up to standard for me. Again, that was all during its first three months or so, so ... it might be time. :)


To be fair, it may just be a matter of taste. I do tend to agree with most of your reviews, but when I don't, I still don't ever think you're necessarily WRONG. It seems like you tried, and it's not for you, which I must respect.
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Re: Everything is good at Ramen House

by Robin Garr » Thu Jan 02, 2020 12:01 pm

Dan E wrote:To be fair, it may just be a matter of taste. I do tend to agree with most of your reviews, but when I don't, I still don't ever think you're necessarily WRONG. It seems like you tried, and it's not for you, which I must respect.

I appreciate that, but I hope I could review something I didn't care for and still judge it fairly on the basis of flavor, construction, display, etc. I remember a reviewer in the distant past who panned a place because it served tofu dishes, and she didn't like tofu. I hope I never go that way. :?
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Re: Everything is good at Ramen House

by Dan E » Thu Jan 02, 2020 12:17 pm

For the record, it seems to me like you do a fair job. Whenever we disagree, I chalk it up to a matter of taste, rather than one of us being "wrong". We are on the same page more often than not.

Out of curiosity, what didn't you care for at Chick n & mi, besides the annoying-to-type name?
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Re: Everything is good at Ramen House

by Robin Garr » Thu Jan 02, 2020 12:52 pm

Well, reading back over the review, I didn't hate it. In fact, I liked most of the dishes. But the ramen irritated me because I kept wanting it to be better and kept going back for re-trys. (I guess three weeks in Japan in the early '90s and a lot of cheap eats over there really spoiled me. :mrgreen: )

The review is mostly positive:
http://www.louisvillehotbytes.com/chikn ... asian-spin

But I had thoughts about the ramen at the end:

Ramen, frankly, has some room to grow here. It’s certainly palatable, but it takes time and effort to master this high Japanese art. The broth should show the result of hours’ work, clear and vividly flavored, bathing chewy noodles and carefully prepared ingredients.

Our veggie ramen and garlic miso ramen with pork belly (both $14) weren’t failures, but they had to struggle for a C grade. The veggie ramen noodles were tragically overcooked, melded into a doughy ball. The pork-belly ramen noodles went the other way, edible but undercooked. The broths were cloudy, and their flavors failed to pop; and so it went. Keep working on it, folks. Ramen is an art.

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Re: Everything is good at Ramen House

by Dan E » Fri Jan 03, 2020 7:50 am

I found the pork broth to be a miso-soy-umami bomb that was rich in flavor. The first spoon really woke me up. My noodles were cooked properly, but then, if you were served over- and then under-cooked noodles, that would be difficult for me to deal with as well.

To be fair, my experience with "authentic" ramen isnt as extensive. I always enjoyed Mirin as a local favorite, but did find them to be a bit inconsistent sometimes. The Hiko-a-mon Ramen is solid too, if just a tad salty. Of course, we are talking about in the scope of Louisville-based ramens, rather than the world.

I'd say the 2 best ramens i've had, oddly enough, were at a food hall in Tampa at a place called Ichicoro Imoto, and a Nashville joint, Otaku Ramen.

Of course, I've never been to Asia, and my love affair with Asian noodle soups began within the last 8-10 years or so.

Maybe Chick n & mi is just not for you. I don't want to send you back for another disappointing experience. I cant have that on my conscience.
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Re: Everything is good at Ramen House

by Robin Garr » Fri Jan 03, 2020 8:51 am

Dan E wrote:I don't want to send you back for another disappointing experience. I cant have that on my conscience.

:lol: Don't worry, Dan. It's a job that I have to do. I won't blame you ...
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Re: Everything is good at Ramen House

by JustinHammond » Fri Jan 03, 2020 9:16 am

Robin Garr wrote: But the ramen irritated me because I kept wanting it to be better and kept going back for re-trys.


This is my opinion on Ramen in general, never had any that blew me away.

The nuggets, lettuce wraps, brussels, and cauliflower at Chik'n & Mi are where it's at.
"The idea is to eat well and not die from it-for the simple reason that that would be the end of your eating." - Jim Harrison

https://www.facebook.com/Louisville-Eat ... 129849554/
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Re: Everything is good at Ramen House

by Dan E » Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:30 am

I finally made it out to Ramen House, and it more than fills the void left by Mirin's closing.

I tried dumplings and the spicy Miso Tonkotsu and was very impressed. As I believe I already mentioned, but am to lazy to scroll up and verify, ramen is one of my favorite things to eat, and this rendition is top tier, at least of the versions I've had in Louisville.

Nice, but not overwhelming spice, complex umami/soy/chile broth, with maybe a hint of tamarind and almost a peanut taste, very rich and unctuous ... perfect noodles...pork belly was done well also.

I think my wife had the shoyu with chicken, which was also done well. Both the protein and broth were delicious. While I enjoy corn, I don't love it in my ramen, but that is totally a personal preference.

I will be dining here quite a bit.
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Re: Everything is good at Ramen House

by Ron H » Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:20 pm

Does Ramen House still do that spicy hell ramen that they used to do at Inochi? Because if so, I'll have to stop and get a bowl because I feel a sinus infection coming on and I need to burn it out.
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Re: Everything is good at Ramen House

by SilvioM » Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:58 pm

I have had the spicy miso a few times. Very good, but not super spicy. I would enjoy more if they kicked it up a few notches.
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Re: Everything is good at Ramen House

by Dan E » Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:53 pm

I dont want to swear to it, but im pretty sure they had hell ramen on the menu. The spicy miso tonkotsu was good for me, but im more middle-of-the-road when it comes to heat level.

even with my average tolerance, i didnt get blown away, but i liked the flavor and Im not man enough to order hell ramen, personally. But like i said, i do think its available to those braver than i
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