I started this blog because I wanted to guide people to the oasis in the (perceived) Asian food desert of Europe. This mainly stems from the fact that I don't live in a city. It feels, well, foreign to me that Asian cuisine isn't celebrated if not prevalent in every corner of the world.
This isn't a phenomenon only in Europe though. The United States has its share of food deserts and lack of appreciation for Asian food (see: Asian buffets). So during our most recent tour of the country, I was happy to find Ramen Lab Eatery in Boca Raton, Florida.
The restaurant scene in Boca Raton is strong, though as far as I have experienced, it is mostly comprised of Italian restaurants, Jewish bakeries, and American institutions like steakhouses, diners, and seafood shacks. The extent of the Asian food scene for a while was sushi and greasy Chinese take-out (something I’ve come to realize is what many Americans perceive to be the extent of Chinese cuisine).
Like many restaurants in the area, Ramen Lab Eatery is in a small strip of businesses facing another shopping area. The space inside felt intimate, much like many other ramen spots we've visited. Luckily it was a typically warm day in Florida, so we sat outside.
After leaving, the Ramen Marauder remarked on the number of people who seemed to be new to eating ramen. When we arrived, we walked up to the counter, ordered our food, then sat down. In contrast, a number of tables around us had sat down, and when a staff member came around, they asked about what was good and what ramen even was.
This experience speaks volumes of both the customers and the restaurant. First, the restaurant chose to open this restaurant for an audience that may not have existed in full force, but has successfully brought delicious ramen to the area. Second, people are choosing to broaden their dietary horizons and willing to ask questions.
I hear people complain about the ramen trend becoming tiresome, but I say bring it on. I'm happy to see people embrace and appreciate new flavors, especially populations of people who may be stuck in their gastronomic routines.
I had the Ramen Tonkotsu, medium spice, and with corn, while the Ramen Marauder had the Miso Ramen with Korean Short Ribs. I was really happy with the creamy, rich flavor of the tonkotsu. The spice was nice added flavor without too much heat. The Korean short ribs in the miso ramen was a delicious change-up.
Whether you reside in the Boca area or are just visiting, Ramen Lab Eatery is a great stray away from the usual food scene. Go check it out!
Ramen Lab Eatery, 100 NE 2nd St, Boca Raton, FL 33432, +1 561-750-4448