Chicago, IL – July 2014 – R.J., Jerrod and Molly Melman along with Chef/Partner Doug Psaltis expand their growing roster of restaurants with Ramen-san, a 90-seat, neighborhood ramen restaurant and bar opened on May 12, 2014 in River North. Ramen-san offers diners a menu reflective of traditional ramen dishes made with house-made broths, all natural proteins and traditional and non-traditional Japanese add-ons. In conceptualizing the new ramen spot, the partners logged nearly 6,290 miles and countless bowls of noodles on their recent trip to Tokyo.
“When we went to Tokyo we visited close to 50 ramen shops and each one had its own personality and specialties. We took some of our favorite things we saw and tasted in Japan and combined them to create the menu at Ramen-san,” said Jerrod Melman, managing partner, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises. “One thing that all of the restaurants we visited had in common was a local, neighborhood vibe and it was important to us that Ramen-San offered the same atmosphere to our guests.”
Ramen-san’s menu is created by Chef/Partner Doug Psaltis and Executive Chef Marcelo Han, who incorporate the highest quality, all-natural ingredients throughout the six ramen dishes. The cuisine can be defined through five components of ramen; the broth – the restaurant offers three house-made varieties including a traditional tonkotsu pork broth, shoyu, a classic chicken broth and shitake for the vegetarian option; the seasonings – four distinct Asian flavors ranging from black garlic to sesame miso; the noodles – handcrafted by Sun Noodle; the meat – including 18-hour all-natural smoked Bub City brisket, Berkshire pork belly spice rubbed and roasted and fried chicken; and the toppings – allowing guests to further customize their noodles with add-ons like kimchi, molten egg, wakame and more. In addition to the ramen offerings, Ramen-san’s menu also includes Asian-inspired small plates, a selection of Montou buns and a variety of chicken wings.
To complement the cuisine, mixologist Paul McGee created a beverage program for Ramen-san that focuses on Japanese whiskey, Asian-inspired cocktails with offerings including spiked yuzu lemonade and a suchu greyhound, local craft beers and Japanese beers.
“We are excited to serve Asahi, a Japanese beer on draft that runs through a special draft tower that we imported from Japan,” said R.J. Melman, managing partner, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises. “When we tasted beer from a draft tower in Tokyo, it was some of the best tasting beer we had ever had; it makes it a perfect ice cold temperature with a frothy, silky head.”
Ramen-san fosters a neighborhood feel reminiscent of traditional ramen shops in Japan. The space is centered on exposed bricks and reclaimed woods and seats 80 in the dining room and ten at the bar, where guests can order the full menu. The restaurant marks the partner’s fourth collaboration with Japanese designer, Kota Bando, who created a simple yet comfortable space where diners can enjoy noodles in a casual setting for dinner and late night. Adding to the laid-back ambiance, the partners worked with nationally acclaimed DJ’s to curate custom playlists for the restaurant.
Ramen-san is located at 59 W. Hubbard Street, Chicago, IL 60654 and open daily for dinner and late night with lunch service coming soon. For more information, visit www.ramensan.com or call 312-377-9950. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @Ramensanchi.