When you want something done right, do it yourself. That’s the ethos that Japanese restaurateur Tomo Takahashi embraced when he moved to the United States and couldn’t find a ramen bar to suit his tastes. So, he opened one.
In 2010, Takahashi launched JINYA Ramen Bar in Los Angeles, the original location of what would go on to become a beloved Japanese restaurant with 40 locations throughout North America.
Actually, make that 41. The newest iteration recently opened its doors in Downtown Chandler’s New Square. Like Takahashi, local franchise owner Daradee Olson longed for a good bowl of ramen upon her return from living in Southeast Asia for six years. Then she tried the offerings at a JINYA restaurant in Utah and was so impressed that she decided to bring the concept to her home state of Arizona.
This is great news for ramen fans. JINYA takes their noodles and broth seriously, hand-making every noodle before it undergoes an aging process and slow-simmering the broth for 20 hours in FUJI brand water. The result? Full-flavored ramen, made with exacting precision and starring authentic Japanese ingredients.
Of the 12 signature ramen creations—each one customizable thanks to more than 25 add-ons—popular choices include the perfectly balanced spicy chicken with chicken chashu, kikurage, spicy bean sprouts and green onion, or the Sprouting Up Ramen with rich pork and chicken broth, pork chashu, kikurage, spicy bean sprouts, green onion, half seasoned egg, Brussels sprouts, black pepper and ginger.
Guests can also opt for non-ramen dishes such as rice bowls featuring Tokyo-style curry and poke bowls stacked with fish. There’s also a generous lineup of vegetarian and vegan plates. Exhibit A: The Vegan Bun, a plant-based steamed bun with a pea protein patty, guacamole, cucumber and vegan mayonnaise.
To complement the cuisine, JINYA brings its infamous attention to detail to the cocktail menu as well. The Lycheetini, which pairs Jinro Soju with lychee syrup and fresh lychee, is a standout, as is the Suntory Toki High Ball. Icy, fizzy and smooth, it’s a fun take on a whiskey and soda. JINYA also gets high marks for offering the state’s internationally awarded Arizona Sake, made in Holbrook.
Rounding out the JINYA experience is the restaurant’s modern interior, a design blend of posh contemporary and urban industrial. A buzzy community table takes center stage, a mural artwork adorns a giant, exposed-brick wall and the ramen bar affords direct sightlines into the lively kitchen.
Map: 130 S. Arizona Ave., Chandler AZ 85225 or (480) 758-5198