Phoenix restaurants are hot right now. It hasn't been more than two weeks since Melt, the new ice cream shop on Roosevelt Row, got a shout out for being one of the Hottest Ice Cream shops in the country from the national food blog Eater. And earlier this week five metro Phoenix restaurants earned spots on OpenTable's list of the 100 best restaurant's for foodies. Now Eater's released their 2013 list of the hottest ramen shops in the country and included our very own Umami.
The restaurant opened several months ago after winning a contest for six months of free rent from Salt Public Relations. It's located in The Center, the brownstone-style mixed used building just off of Tempe's Mill Avenue. As noted in the list, they specialize in not-so-traditional ramen done Chipotle style -- meaning you choose your broth, meat, toppings and level of spice. They also serve build-your-own bento boxes with some completely non-traditional choices like hummus, pita and fruit.
Whether or not Umami is the hottest thing to hit ramen in Phoenix this year, we don't know for sure. But it is undeniably true that ramen is trending hard right now. For starters you just have to look at the latest national food craze: the Ramen Burger.
And the trend is happening locally, too. Earlier this month Valley restaurateur Johnny Chu (of Tien Wong in Chandler and Sochu House in Phoenix) announced the opening of T.Spot, a "kind of permanent pop-up inside Tien Wong" that features authentic ramen and teas. He says he hopes to expand the concept and is looking for space in Phoenix.
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You'll also see the ramen trend on the menu at the newly opened The Gladly in Phoenix, where chef Bernie Kantak is serving up duck ramen in spicy miso broth.
Now go forth and embrace the ramen trend, my friends -- just don't turn into this chick.