Good morning, ramen lovers! In exactly one week, Dallas will have its first dedicated ramen shop. This is history-in-the-making. The establishment of Tanoshii’s presence in Deep Ellum is like watching Neil Armstrong walk on the moon. Sort of. Yeahhh, not really. But you know what I mean. Dallas is turning more and more Asian by the minute. Monkey King Noodle Co., a fast-casual dumpling and hand-pulled noodle joint, is being built in Deep Ellum as I type this. I can’t complain. I love it. Racist people can kiss my assets.
We’ve been following this story for a long time. Ten months to be exact. Back in December, when Chi and Joey Le, the husband-and-wife team behind Wicked Po’ Boys, told us that they were opening a ramen shop called Tanoshi (later they added the extra ‘i’ at the end), people started flipping out. Every week, someone would pester me with, “WHEN IS TANOSHII OPENING?!”
Now I can stop screaming back and tell these crazy noodle people, calmly and assertively, “Tuesday, September 24.”
The savory side of Tanoshii’s menu looks pretty traditional, from what I can tell. It’s a nod to all the regions in Japan that specialize in different kinds of ramen. Tonkotsu, a cloudy pork-bone soup, is from Kyushu. The spicy miso with grilled corn and roasted sesame originated from Hokkaido. Then there’s a soy-sauce based ramen called shoyu that (I’ve heard) comes from Yokohama. The Les have also included a tsukemen dish as well, which is a fun, playful take on ramen. Instead of drinking noodles and soup together, you dip the noodles in the broth.
But.. holy cow! Tanoshii is also offering a variety of small plates, steamed buns, and gua baos (these Taiwanese pork belly buns inside fluffy white bread). Um, I don’t know if I’d call them “Taiwanese burgers,” but I’ll let that one pass. I’m eyeing that chocolate ramen dessert with strawberry ice cream and orange blossom honey. What IS that?
Tanoshii is starting off with mostly dinner service for now: Tuesday and Thursdays from 5 to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. (Woo! Late night food!) Sundays are open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lunch services will start in October.