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Posted: March 31, 2016

Where is America's No. 1 ramen restaurant?

The #1 Original at Ramen Tatsu-Ya. Photo by Jay Janner / American-Statesman
The #1 Original at Ramen Tatsu-Ya. Photo by Jay Janner / American-Statesman

By Jackie Wang

Austin American Statesman

AUSTIN —

In Time Out’s list of best ramen restaurants, only two states get multiple shout-outs (New York has two restaurants on the list, and California has four). But it's Texas’ lone star ramen place right here in the 512 - Ramen Tatsu-ya - that has been named America's No. 1 ramen restaurant.

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Two ex-DJs opened Ramen Tatsu-ya in September 2012, and the restaurant immediately began drawing long lines. Its local fan base pushed the restaurant to extend its hours and add veggie options all day in February. Since the restaurant started serving food in 2012, the founders opened another location

Time Out cites Ramen Tatsu-ya’s thick, creamy broth as its main ticket to success:

"Former DJs Tatsu Aikawa and Takuya Matsumoto craft a tonkotsu that requires three days’ worth of cook time, resulting in a luscious pork bone elixir that clings to each angel-hair-thin noodle (like many of the nation’s top ramen joints, the custom strands come from revered producer Sun Noodle). Meltingly tender chashu (thin-sliced pork), snappy woodear mushrooms and a marinated egg finish each carefully composed bowl."

When Ramen Tatsu-Ya first opened, Austin food and restaurant critic Matthew Odam gave it a glowing review. The specialty thick tonkotsu automatically comes paired with thinner noodles, balancing the bowl’s ingredients.

The restaurant’s menu lists some rules, including “Chopsticks only,” “Slurp loudly and shamelessly,” and most importantly, “Never share your ramen.”


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