Jinya Ramen Bar, 449 W.19th, opened at the Heights Waterworks September 17. This makes the seventh Houston location for the upscale ramen restaurant. It's sleek and sexy and increasingly popular among noodle lovers. The broth is the star at JINYA and is slow-simmered for more than ten hours with either pork or chicken bones or vegetables, plus other authentic flavorings added such as bonito, dashi and kombu. The broth is also made with FUJI water to protect the broth from impurities. The noodles themselves are made fresh daily, then aged for three days to concentrate the flavors.
Founder Tomonori Takahashi came to the United States from Japan in 2010 and saw a need for authentic Japanese ramen. His father owned a successful Isakaya-style eatery in Japan called Jinya and Takahashi opened his own JINYA in Tokyo in 2003. He opened his first U.S. location in California and has now expanded with multiple locations across the country and Canada.
The Jinya Tonkatsu Black is one of the most popular items with pork, kikurage, green onion, nori, seasoned egg, garlic chips, garlic oil, fried onion and spicy sauce.Diners can choose a spice level from 1 to 10. Over level 6, an extra $1 is charged, however. There's also cold ramen without broth and vegetable soup ramen. Most range from $11.95 to $13.50.
There are small plates to start like Brussels Sprouts Tempura or Takoyaki (octopus balls) and Jinya's mini tacos in crispy wonton shells, including a vegan version. There are a couple of curry rice bowls and a California Poke Bowl, too.