RACHEL SUN | THE DAILY EVERGREEN
O-Ramen, a Japanese noodle shop in downtown Pullman, has sold 6,400 bowls of tonkotsu ramen and 5,500 bowls of shoyu ramen since their opening. Often, the restaurant will have lines of customers waiting to order, said Daisy Mae Beam, the kitchen manager of O-Ramen.
Tonkotsu ramen, the most popular dish, is a bowl of rich pork bone broth seasoned with soy sauce, fish oil, seaweed and vinegar. O-Ramen owner Orin Ford said that “tonkotsu” means pork bone. On the top of the thin, straight noodles are pork chashu, a seasoned egg, pickled ginger, wood ear mushroom, spinach and green onions.
Shoyu ramen is a bowl of light chicken broth seasoned with many of the same components as tonkotsu, with added bamboo shoots.
Beam said the delicate Japanese bowls at this restaurant are one of her greatest working motivations. Besides these two popular bowls, Beam also recommends the spicy miso ramen. She said some ingredients in the bowl like ginger take the employees a lot of effort to prepare.
“It’s properly a three-out-of-five spicy, super warming and has a beautiful, vibrant, pink pickled egg on it — just to die for,” Beam said. “[The bowl] has a nice heap of housemade pickled ginger.”
Jesus Florez, junior hospitality business management major, works as a server at O-Ramen and said the spicy vegan ramen is his favorite dish. It is an off-menu bowl with spicy miso soup. The customers can request the server for the bowl.
There are two special seasonal bowls at O-Ramen. Last summer, they featured the cold ramen with light aromatic oil and pickles made from the local farmer market’s produces.
The broth of cold ramen is made from shiitake mushroom and sun-dried tomatoes. Beam said the cold ramen is a light, refreshing bowl. Ford said the dish will reappear this May.
Last fall, the restaurant featured butternut squash mazemen ramen, a creamy, vegetarian bowl of noodles with no soup. This bowl has onion butter, pickles, shiitake mushrooms, and green onions. A raw egg yolk is added on top of the noodles, then smashed with chopsticks and mixed in to add flavor.
Ford hasn’t decided whether he will bring the mazemen back yet, he said, as he may be introducing a new dish in the fall instead.
Hot tea is the most popular drink with ramen orders, Beam said. O-Ramen also offers hot or cold sake. Beam recommends Nama Genshu Sake by Kikusui, a golden can of sake with a unique, floral flavor.
“We are a very friendly establishment,” Florez said. “[Customers] shouldn’t be scared to come in, try something new.”
O-Ramen is located at 131 N. Grand Ave. in downtown Pullman. It is open from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day. Happy hours are from 3-5 p.m. and 8-9 p.m. daily.
This article has been updated to correct a misspelling.