This has been a long time coming, but it's here. My mini-love-rant about the amazingness that is Jinya Ramen Bar. The owners are opening up a THIRD location in the District (in Bethesda), so I felt that was a total cause for celebration/reason to get this published.
Jinya Ramen Bar, ICYMI, is a ramen joint based on the West Coast. They made their first venture into The District with a shop in Mosaic District a while back. The wait for a table would consistently top two hours and crowds would swarm, waiting to get a taste of this hip ramen spot.
Which is how Maxim and I became fast friends with the bar — no wait, fast service and we'd never wait for more than 20 minutes before getting a spot.
Ramen is a craze that kind of swept the hipster scene about two years ago and hasn't let up since. But one thing I've realized on my hunt for good ramen, is that a lot of the "vegetarian" options are filled with dairy or fish sauce (heads up: fish isn't vegetarian). Or, the tofu add-ins wouldn't be vegan.
So what makes Jinya so incredible? Well for one, check out their "story:"
Imagine a world where eating ramen is an everyday ritual, like ordering pizza or going out for a great burger. This is the daily reality that JINYA Ramen Bar founder Tomonori Takahashi came from when he arrived in the United States in 2010.
But the founder couldn't find what he wanted, so he started Jinya instead to get his daily fix for his beloved Japanese cuisine.
But at Jinya, part of their menu is dedicated to vegan — it's the Spicy Vegan Ramen — and it is transformative. Filled with a coconut milk broth, wide noodles, and tons of veggies. Especially as the cooler temps (finally) start to settle in, it's a spot you need to hit up as soon as possible.
Looking to check it out for yourself? There's two great places to hit up:
Not in Washington, D.C.? Don't worry, they have tons of locations.
WHAT TO ORDER:
- seaweed salad
- brussel sprouts tempura
- edamame | eat half before, and put the other half in your ramen
- spicy vegan ramen | add nori, bok choy, extra tofu
THE BONUS FRY (Maxim's picks for non-vegans)
- Look to the spicy chicken ramen | add egg
- Order extras (like the beef) on the side, so you can add it how you like.
- Always get extra noodles
- Order the Jinya bun to start
- If you're taking your leftovers with you, order extra noodles or broth to extend your ramen.
- Sit at the bar, you'll be served faster.
- That phrase you hear all the waiters yelling? It's "irasshai" or "ear - shy" — at Japanese phrase that is the more casual way of saying "welcome!"