Ramen is Sushi Tora’s Weekend Lunch Special

Longtime downtown Boulder sushi fave offers ramen bowls.

001Like many foodies, I was quite fascinated when New York restaurateur David Chang launched Momofuku, an epicurean ramen restaurant on First Avenue in the “Far East Village” a decade or more ago. He re-elevated the classic Japanese noodle dish from the depths it has sunk to as super-cheap cellophane-wrapped dried noodles to be mixed with a flavor packet whose operative flavor is salt. Sure, I’ve boiled up many a packet of those soulless ramen noodles for a quick, cheap lunch, but the only way I could stomach them was when enhanced with Chinese sesame oil. How I longed to have a Momofuku clone down the street.

Now there is one, at least at lunch on weekends, when the estimable Sushi Tora has a small ramen menu at lunch. On a cold, gray winter day, my husband and I and another couple could think of little better than hot, filling ramen that had never met cellophane. And it is down the street — just five blocks away. The ramen dishes are rated like ski runs, but instead of green, blue and black, Sushi Tora rates shoyu for guests with “a lighter palate,” miso for those with “a stronger palate” and tonkutsu for those with “a strong palate.” The menu goes with a more detailed explanation of what these all mean.

Green tea comes in green pottery cups; green tea with roasted rice in brown cups.
Green tea comes in green pottery cups; green tea with roasted rice in brown cups.
The one-page weekend ramen menu explains a lot about the specific dishes.
The one-page weekend ramen menu explains a lot about the specific dishes.

Steamed pork buns made with thick pork belly in pillowy folded buns.
Steamed pork buns made with thick pork belly in pillowy folded buns.
Miso ramen.
Miso ramen.
Shoyu (soy) ramen.
Shoyu (soy) ramen.
Tonkutsu ramen.
Tonkutsu ramen.

Price check: Weekend ramen bowls are $11.50 and $12.50.

Sushi Tora on Urbanspoon

4 thoughts on “Ramen is Sushi Tora’s Weekend Lunch Special”

  1. Which ramen did you and Ral have? I’ve only tried the Tonkutsu Ramen here in ABQ at a little place on the Talin Plaza. Very hearty pork bone broth.

    1. Dana Meyer and I had the Tonkutsu. He heated his up with an additional fiery sauce, but I wanted to taste the actual flavor of the rich broth. It was further enriched by a slice of roast pork and two eggs. Ral had the shoyu and Andrea Meyer had the miso.

  2. I was talking to a Denver foodie friend who asked whether I’ve had the ramen at Tokio in Denver’s Prospect neighborhood (which is not the same as Longmont’s Prospect New Town). “Well no,” I replied, but it did sound familiar. That’s because I still have a press release in my inbox from its early November opening. I’m adding Tokio to my to-try list, but meanwhile, here’s the content of that press communique:

    TOKIO, an authentic Japanese restaurant serving real ramen, high-quality sushi, binchotan-grilled delicacies and a wide variety of sake from Japan, has announced the opening of its new location at 2907 Huron Street in Denver’s Prospect neighborhood.

    Chef and Owner Miki Hashimoto, who Denver-area diners may know from his previous establishments Japon and Japango, opened TOKIO to introduce a fresh take on Japanese cuisine to Denver, including real ramen, high-quality sushi, and a traditional binchotan charcoal station using real Japanese oak wood. TOKIO also has an extensive selection of imported sake, red and white wine, and Japanese and domestic beer, spirits and cordials.

    “Dining at TOKIO is the most authentic Japanese experience one can have in Denver, and we are very excited to bring the unique flavor of real Japanese ramen, binchotan grilling and imported Hakushika sake and spirits to the Prospect neighborhood,” said Chef Hashimoto. “TOKIO transports diners to a small house in Japan where only the freshest, highest quality delicacies are served, and we know that our patrons will taste the difference.”

    According to Chef Hashimoto, few Denver diners have experienced real Japanese ramen noodles, which have a heartier taste and texture than what is usually served in the USA. TOKIO uses authentic chukamen noodles as well as rice noodles available for gluten-free diners. TOKIO’s traditional Japanese binchotan charcoal grill is also a first in Denver, and imparts a unique, smoky flavor. On the binchotan menu, TOKIO uses only high-quality Kobe beef and locally sourced Berkshire pork and natural chicken. The restaurant also serves a full selection of sushi, sashimi, appetizers and small plates.

    TOKIO’s décor is simple, sophisticated, and very beautifully decorated, and is designed to resemble the structure of a traditional Japanese house. Chef Hashimoto’s friend, designer Kanji Ueki, who also helped design the original Apple retail stores, created the design concept. The restaurant has 60 seats and includes a gorgeous loft area with a private sake bar for hosting small parties up to 26 people. Ample parking is available in the lot behind the restaurant and reservations are accepted through the website: http://www.mytokio.com or phone: (720) 639-2911.

    About TOKIO Japanese Restaurant
    TOKIO is an authentic Japanese restaurant serving real ramen noodle bowls, high-quality sushi, imported sake, and binchotan-grilled Japanese delicacies. Located at 2907 Huron Street in Denver’s Prospect neighborhood, one block west of Coors Field, TOKIO’s name is an alternative spelling of the city in Japan, and transports the diner to an intimate beautifully decorated house in Tokyo. TOKIO is open from 5:00 PM to 1:00 AM Monday through Thursday and Saturday, 5:00 PM to 2:00 AM Friday, and 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM on Sunday. For more information, please call (720) 639-2911 or visit: http://www.mytokio.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/mytokiodenver.

  3. To further underscore the metro Denver area’s infatuation with ramen, the national site, Eater.com, selected Jeff Osaka’s upcoming rameneria as the city’s “most anticipated” restaurant opening of 2015 — even as local sites named a dozen or so they were excited about. Eater.com posted:

    Osaka Ramen

    Location: 2611 Walnut Street, Denver, CO
    Chef: Jeff Osaka
    Projected Opening: March 2015
    Delays have not dulled the city’s enthusiasm for this upcoming ramen shop. Chef/owner of the now-shuttered Twelve Jeff Osaka will serve up ramen made with the lauded Sun Noodles, plus “izakaya-style items ranging from small pickle plates to fried fish, yakitori skewers, gyoza, and more” reports Eater Denver. Osaka also has plans to bring conveyor belt sushi to Denver in 2015.

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