So many Japanese noodle houses have popped up across the Valley the past few years, they almost seem commonplace. But recently, something remarkable hit the scene: Sojo Ramen—from Chef John Chien Lee, the man behind Soho Japanese Restaurant and Soho SushiBurrito—and specifically Sojo’s one-of-a-kind Black on Black bowl.
The southwest Valley eatery’s dusky creation arrives as a mysteriously beautiful cauldron of egg-based strings, sliced chashu pork, miso-braised ground pork, calamari and bean sprouts. Everything’s bathed in a pork-bone broth tinted like midnight with roasted black garlic and squid ink. A garnish of emerald-green garlic chives lends the sorcerous-looking soup a splash of daylight. The 30-day-aged allium imparts an umami nuance that’s deep and earthy, and the sepia adds a briny hint of the ocean. Only 15 orders of the sensational soup are available each day ($12.95), so arrive early to slurp with gusto (just don’t wear white).
More traditional noodle selections await chopsticks and soup spoons, too. The classic tonkatsu ramen comes with sliced pork, soft-boiled egg, bamboo shoots, wood ear mushrooms and nori ($8.95). Buttery, miso-flavored Sapporo ramen comes sprinkled with corn niblets ($8.95). Champon ramen is vibrant with shrimp and pink-swirled fish cake ($10.95). There’s also a veggie-forward option ($9.50), and sesame-enhanced Kuro-Goma tantanmen powered with spicy chili-oil ($8.95). Gluten-free tofu noodles are available with any selection (add $1.50).
For sides, try the creamy cabbage-carrot coleslaw ($1.50), silky agedashi tofu with bonito flakes ($3.95) and zesty pork wonton “tacos” ($3.95) with an icy mango green tea ($1.95) inside this clean-lined and wood-toned nook.
SOJO RAMEN 7377 S. Jones Blvd., #106, 702-987-9624. Daily, 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.