Name: Jinya Ramen Bar
Vitals: 2911 District Ave., Suite 140, Fairfax. jinya-ramenbar.com.
Neighborhood: Mosaic District
Description: Japanese-inspired ramen spot (no reservations)
Ambiance: Sleek night out
Previously: A retail shop
Owner: Sam Shoja
Chef de cuisine: Lou Temprosa (El Centro)
Open: Daily for dinner, beginning Tuesday; daily lunch begins June 27
It's all about the ramen at Jinya, which offers 16 different variations on the popular noodle-and-broth dish. Director of operations Steven Chiang said Jinya, which has more than a dozen current and pending locations in the United States and Canada, is known for its rich and porky tonkotsu broth. Variations using that broth include the Jinya Tonkotsu Black, pungent with garlic chips; Sprouting Up Ramen, with Brussels sprouts; and the Spicy Umami Miso, with ground pork and bok choy. Chicken and vegetable broths are available as well. Depending on the dish, noodles are thick or thin. Diners can also customize their ramen with more than 20 toppings, including tofu, nori and wontons.
Chiang said he thinks Jinya's "authentic Japanese ramen," as envisioned by founder Tomonori Takahashi, is "not represented" in the local market (though we can think of a few shops that might disagree). He doesn't believe the Washington area has enough ramen shops yet, and a 14th Street Jinya is already in the works.
In addition to ramen, the menu includes tapas such as Brussels sprouts tempura and pork gyoza (dumplings). There's a small selection of rice bowls and curry as well.
Local craft beers, Japanese-inspired cocktails (with names such as Sailor Moon, Neo Tokyo and Geisha's Tear), sake, wine and house-made non-alcoholic beverages.
Designed by Los Angeles-based firm Ikedo Design, the restaurant will seat 100 diners, plus nine at the bar and more than 30 on the patio. Chiang said the interior has a modern Western, wood-and-steel industrial feel -- in other words, don't expect any samurai swords.