Joey and Chi Le, the cute hubby-and-wife team behind Wicked Po’ Boys, have eaten their way around the world (notably Vietnam, Japan, and New York). They know their noodles. Now the Les have bravely decided to open a ramen shop in Deep Ellum, where the old Baker’s Ribs used to be. Tanoshi Ramen should be open by late February/early March 2013.
“Tanoshi” means “enjoyable” in Japanese. So, enjoyable ramen is exactly what these guys are after. Chi says, “I wanted it to mean something along the lines of pure joy.”
The menu will feature ramen, of course, and Vietnamese-inspired small plates. The Les are incorporating a lot of what they grew up eating at home into Tanoshi Ramen. “I know it’s a little bit of a mix,” says Chi, “but I think it’ll touch everybody.” Bánh xèo (Vietnamese crepes) and pork belly buns will be on the small plates menu. As for vegetarian options, Chi and Joey have already put a lot of consideration into making Tanoshi enjoyable for their meatless guests. The pork belly buns will have a vegan option, and the soup-based ramens will have a veggie option as well. No vegan/vegetarian will be left behind.
It’s a lot of pressure for Chi and Joey to bring good ramen to Dallas, but I’m rooting for them. Dallas needs Asian street food – the kind you find on a random dirt road in the middle of nowhere, Taiwan. But maybe I’m hoping for too much, too fast. We’ll see how Tanoshi Ramen turns out.