Between pho and takoyaki stand, Genki Takoyaki, the scene has been set for a ramen restaurant to join the Boise culinary scene. Ramen Sho, located on the second floor of the Capitol Terrace downtown, opened the week of May 21 as the first place in Boise to serve legit Japanese ramen.
Any time a new restaurant opens in the Treasure Valley, long lines are part of the dining experience for the first few weeks (looking at you, Krispy Kreme). That was the case for Ramen Sho, as eager eaters have been queued up daily for piping hot bowls of noodly goodness, so we weren't surprised Ramen Sho was packed during a recent visit. We waited an hour to get a seat, but the service was awesome and made up for the wait. They gave us popcorn to snack on, checked in on us when they could and the owner, Yuji Hirose, came out personally to apologize for the delay and served everyone waiting for a table a drink on the house.
We ordered three kinds of ramen: the tonkotsu (pork flavor), shoyu (soy sauce flavor) and miso. Each dish cost $10 and took about 10 minutes to arrive. Despite the wait to be seated, we were impressed by the quick table service and low price.
Ramen Sho goes for a more traditional flavor, avoiding the garlic and seafood additions some ramen restaurants in Oregon and Washington like to experiment with. Don’t expect anything flashy—just good, hearty ramen.
The tonkotsu, with its thick umami flavor reminiscent of home-cooked soup, was the best of the three, followed by shoyu and the miso, which was a little too peppery for us but might be perfect for someone else’s palate. The highlight of all three dishes was the super fatty slice of chashu pork in each. Pro tip: Sip a little broth, then go in for the bite. The noodles, price and service all make Ramen Sho worth recommending, but just based on the pork alone, the new ramen spot shows powerful promise.
If you have been waiting for ramen to come to Boise, your expectations will be met—shout-outs to owner Yuji and our server, Tanika. We recommend Ramen Sho whether you’re a ramen aficionado or only familiar with the 15-cent packages of dried noodles from the grocery store.
Known on Yelp and Tumblr as PizzaTom and PizzaKen, Tom Bowers and Kenny Katayama have diversified and will share their take on various food types on a semi-regular basis (but they still love pizza).