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Opening a restaurant in the middle of a pandemic is no easy feat, but this new Downtown Phoenix ramen spot forged ahead, and our food-loving hearts couldn’t be happier.
Ramen Kagawa opened its doors on the south west corner of First Avenue and Monroe Street on August 20, bringing Japanese comfort food to the heart of the Valley.
The restaurant features a concise menu of authentic Japanese curry, ramen and bento, as well as unique Japanese craft brews and sake. Currently in soft-opening mode, Ramen Kagawa offers limited dine-in seating, and the full menu is available online for takeout and delivery
We stopped in for a quick taste tour through the menu, and here’s what we tried:
This dish did not disappoint. The perfectly cooked noodles, creamy paitan chicken broth, spicy miso and chicken chashu was well balanced and full of flavor. If you’re into pork, there are three pork tonkatsu options to choose from. And if meat’s not your thing, there’s a vegetarian option, too. Ramen starts at $11.50.
Karaage is Japan’s answer to KFC. Instead of traditional flour, it’s battered with potato starch. This creates a super light crunchy crust, with tender juicy chicken inside. Order it as a side, or as a bento box. From $6.50.
Curry is one of the most popular dishes in Japan. Unlike American-style dishes where the meat takes center stage, traditional Japanese curries put the emphasis on the sauce and the meat is more of a garnish. Get your spoon ready to enjoy this traditional Japanese curry with rice, pork tonkatsu, special curry sauce, potatoes and carrots. $12.50
Got a sweet tooth but still craving something savory? Try the salmon teriyaki bento — a little salty, a little sweet, it’s the best of both worlds. The Japanese-style, single portion meal includes tender grilled salmon, rice, potato salad and hijiki seaweed. $10
The curated beer list showcases Japanese craftsmanship and some up-and-coming labels. Expect to find Kizakura Kyoto Matcha IPA, Tokyo Black Porter, and Hitachino White Ale to name a few. Or if you’re boring, there’s Sapporo.
If you prefer something sweeter, try the sake. The traditional Japanese alcohol is made from fermented rice, and is sometimes referred to as a wine (but it’s technically not). Four sakes are on the menu ranging from the rich and sweet Kikusui Funaguchi, to the light and dry Dassai 45.
Craving a cocktail? Pick up the Black Owl — a canned Japanese highball (whiskey and soda).
WHEN YOU GO
111 W. Monroe Street, Suite #130