A new Japanese ramen noodle restaurant opened its doors this week in Clarendon.
The restaurant has room for 35 people to eat, including on a long shared table in the middle of the dining area.
“You end up sitting with someone you have never met,” said the restaurant’s owner and chef Kenji. “We are hoping people can start conversations over ramen.”
There are plenty of other reminders of the owner’s Japanese heritage. Several norens — Japanese fabric dividers — hang to separate the back rooms from the dining area, while the kitchen is fully open for customers to see their food being made.
And above customers’ heads, a light fixture is made from several ramen boilers.
Kenji said the menu has many homemade ramen dishes, including tsukemen, a ramen dish with noodles that are dipped in a separate bowl of soup or broth. Kenji said he has heard from several people that Hanabi Ramen could be one of the first in the local area to serve the dish.
Pricing is on the lower end for a sit-down restaurant in Clarendon — around $14 for an entree, both for lunch and dinner, according to a menu posted on Facebook.
So far, Kenji said he has looked to make customers happy from “when they have the first sip of soup,” and he wishes to create a culture of teamwork among his staff.
Hanabi Ramen is open for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., then for dinner from 4:30 to 10 p.m. daily.