The Unvegan

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Ramen Hood’s Grand Opening

Nommin’ on some ramen.

When I left LA to move to Phoenix I had one major concern. No, it wasn’t the heat in the summer, it was the lack of ramen. You see, LA spoils you with a lot of Asian food, but ramen is easily one of the best of them. People go through life only knowing ramen from a dry cup and I feel terrible for those people, but is it better to have ramen and lost it than to never have had ramen at all? Lost or not, ramen has returned to my life in the form of Ramen Hood in Scottsdale. I headed out for the grand opening to see if it would fulfill my needs.

Ramen Hood offers customized ramen – like a custom burger spot but with ramen instead. You can choose your noodles and broth type, then pick from a bunch of other ingredients.

I opted for regular ramen noodles (as in not gluten free) and tonkotsu (rich pork) as my broth. Other broth options were shoyu (soy), spicy miso, tomato and vegetarian. I’ve always leaned towards tonkotsu and wasn’t disappointed in that decision.

It’s hard to have a bowl of ramen without a soft boiled egg, so I made sure to snag one of those. I also chose naruto (slices of a fish roll, named that because naruto means whirlpool and there are swirls in the roll), pickled ginger, seasoned bamboo, spicy miso paste and black garlic oil. The latter two enriched the broth, while the former three were there to enhance the dish. Oh and let’s not forget the cha siu pork, which was more thinly sliced and less melt-in-your-mouth than I’m used to.

I loved that Ramen Hood has Ramune (pronounced rah-moo-nuh), which is a crazy Japanese drink that is opened by popping a marble through the top. Melon is the best flavor; tell your friends.

Tempura bacon! Never seen this before and holy cow it’s amazing. I mean, nobody likes tempura vegetables anyway.

It’s really hard to beat having a new ramen place open right down the street from you. Especially when you are in somewhat of an authentic Asian food desert like Scottsdale. It was definitely a mistake to open a hot soup restaurant in the middle of the Phoenix summer, but  the ramen is good enough to keep Ramen Hood going strong until the colder months bring in the big crowds.