Ramen is fantastic, right? I mean, we can all agree on that. But we can also agree that summer in Phoenix is not the time for ramen. So, although I knew Obon in Scottsdale had great ramen from carrying out a couple times, I made a different choice when I decided to stick around long enough to eat in the restaurant.
I began with something not Japanese at all. It was called Fuku Wings, which were coated in a spicy gochujang sauce. Gochujang, for those who may not know, is actually a Korean sauce and I have yet to eat a take on it that I haven’t liked. These were no different and they were nothing short of fantastic. It was a little sweeter than a typical gochujang sauce, but packed a spicy punch. There was a little crispiness to the outside and plenty of juiciness on the inside. With such a strong connection between Japan and Korea (albeit an often contentious one), I let the gochujang wings slide on account of being so delicious.
For my main dish I went with Street Noodles, which are spicy yakisoba noodles with peanuts, minced chicken and bean sprouts. I am an unabashed lover of yakisoba and calling them street noodles is pretty accurate because they are generally cheap comfort food. Obon dressed theirs up and I must say I had no complaints. They were mighty spicy and flavorful, with plenty of chicken mixed in there to keep a healthy balance with the noodles. They’re not your everyday yakisoba, but unless you’re living in Japan no yakisoba is and these certainly got the job done.
Between the noodles and the wings, Obon handed me some upscale Asian food in just the right way. Perhaps more important than anything else, Obon is ready and willing to show the people of Scottsdale that Japanese food is much more than sushi and teriyaki chicken. And when the weather drops to whatever passes for a low temperature a few months from now I know the ramen will be a welcome warmer in my belly.