Imagine if everything from our college days became high-end and trendy.
Not only would night clubs and lounges offer beer bongs instead of bottle service, but celebrity chefs would implement cafeteria-inspired make-your-own-waffle bars into every one of their restaurants.
Those are as likely scenarios as the ramen noodle phenomenon, which has finally come to Dallas. But it’s a growing trend in the U.S. that’s well-deserved. Unlike the 10¢-per-crunchy-brick grocery store version that sustained us via dorm-room hotplate, true ramen is a noodle of beauty and the component of dishes with deep complexity.
And Tanoshii Ramen + Bar in Deep Ellum serves up some of the best we’ve ever tasted. If you went there when they first opened, check them out again because they are spiraling upward toward perfection.
Start with the Banh Xeo (sizzling crepes) filled with pork and shrimp then griddled up nice and crispy. We’ve been dreaming of these ever since our first bite. Hakata Gyoza (pan-fried dumplings) are also a must-try.
As for the celebrated ramen noodle itself, there are several options, each of which can be enhanced with everything from soft boiled or slow cooked eggs, cloud ear mushrooms, bamboo shoots, seaweed, miso grilled corn, kim chi, braised pork belly, bulgogi beef or swirled fish cakes.
That makes for a lot of potential combinations for a winter’s worth of soupy delights.
Our favorites, which need no additions, are the Tonkotsu ramen (pictured) with pork belly, and the very spicy curry, which features spicy coconut curry soup with tempura prawns, mussels and cherry tomato.
Sip on a Poison Girl cocktail made with cantaloupe and garnished with arugula. Then end it all with a delectable plate of coconut-fried bananas.
We guarantee there won’t be a single flashback to college dorm food. Because Tanoshii is in a class all by itself.
2724 Commerce, Dallas
Photo credit: Claire McCormack