Long-awaited Tanoshii Ramen opened to the public last night at 5 p.m., and as predicted, it got pretty slammed: At 7 p.m. the wait for a four-top was precisely one hour. The hungry masses spilled out onto the sidewalk, while the luckier ones huddled around the bar sipping on Kirin (or Deep Ellum Brewing Company) drafts. Folks walking down Commerce Street peered in the windows curiously, wondering what all the fuss was about.
Besides dark earthenware bowls filled with three different ramen offerings (a traditional tonkotsu with pork belly, soft-boiled egg, menma, and bok choy; a spicy miso with pork belly and corn; and a shoyu version with fish cake and nori), the most popular dish coming out of the open kitchen was clearly the steamed buns stuffed with braised pork belly, smothered in a sweet-and-surprisingly-spicy sauce. (Expect to spend about $25 a person for ramen, a shared app and a beer or cocktail.)
The loud roar of conversation would suddenly die down to a quiet din, indicating that another table's bowls of ramen had arrived and they'd turned their attention from chatting to slurping. By 9:30, things slowed slightly, with all parties seated, many contentedly nursing a cocktail from the bar (the Poison Girl with cantaloupe-infused gin and a dainty garnish of arugula looked to be a popular choice amongst the ladies).
For now, Tanoshii is open Tuesday through Thursday from 5-10 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays they'll be open until 3 a.m. to serve the late-night crowds; and Sundays, 11-3 p.m. Expect lunch hours to be added in October.
· More Tanoshii Ramen coverage [-EDFW-]