Crowds have been flocking to Jinya Ramen bar since it opened last week in Mosaic District. The California-based chain already has 12 locations around the United States and Canada, but the Fairfax location is the first in the D.C. area.
The full-service restaurant offers five different broths, but specializes in tonkotsu-style broth simmered for more than 18 hours. Besides the soups, diners can also choose from rice bowls, quinoa salads, curry rice, buns, fried chicken, takoyaki, and more small plates.
Apparently there's plenty of demand for ramen in Mosaic District. The restaurant has only been open for a week but already has a whopping 67 reviews with an overall rating of three and a half stars. Diners have even reported waits as long as three hours during peak dining times. But is it actually worth it? Read on for the early word on Jinya Ramen Bar:
The Worth the Wait News: Diners are reporting some crazy long wait times since the restaurant opened. Twitter user @ibjchn asks, "Why Jinya....why does the wait gotta be 2 hours." Yelper Kevin J. writes, "We got there at 8 and there was a 3 hour wait!" But Instagrammer @emma_saucy declares, "Worth the wait." [Twitter, Yelp, Instagram]
The Best in Virginia News: Instagrammer @hiwatermark says, "easily the best in Virginia." Yelper Annie K. writes, "Although this isn't the best ramen that I've ever had in my history of ramen consumption, it's definitely the best so far in VA." Yelper Lisa H. adds, "JINYA is currently the best ramen spot amongst the other few spots with their addresses located IN northern VA." [Instagram, Yelp]
The Comparison to Japan News: Twitter user @finalcake says, "Best tonkotsu ramen I've had since Fukuoka. Jinya is amazing." Yelper Scott H. writes, "After having lived in Japan and then returning to the East Coast, I felt like I might never again find the taste of real ramen, but now, thanks to Jinya Ramen Bar, I can say that the DC Metro Area finally has ramen worthy of being called 'real'." But Yelper Duy V. writes, "It isn't Japan good or even nyc good, but for our area which is lacking any truly good ramen joint, I have to say I actually enjoyed it and would happily return." [Twitter, Yelp]
The Takoyaki is Pretty Bomb News: Yelper Amy S. writes,"The Takoyaki was good! Maybe too much sauce on it but I really enjoyed it." Instagrammer @k.vuongofficialsays, "Takoyaki is pretty bomb," but instagrammer @daaaaaaannyboy writes, "#takoyaki was good but nothing to write home about." [Yelp, Instagram]
The Melt in Your Mouth Buns News: Yelper Daniel K. says, "The buns are really good and meat just melts in your mouth." But Instagrammer aujasmine says, " I think the buns at Bahn Ta Deli in Eden center taste better."
The Really Thick Broth News: Yelper Thien L. writes, "The broth was just too thick for my liking," and Yelper Amber G. says, "it was just way too heavy and thick and unhealthy-tasting." Instagrammer @bannaners2 says, "The broths I tried were really thick, which I wasn't really a fan of." [Yelp, Instagram]
The Perfectly Cooked Noodles News: Facebook user Theresa Kim writes, "chewy al dente noodles." Yelper Martine S. says, "The noodles were perfectly cooked! I love the thicker noodles so much" But Instagrammer @jhwang89 writes, "the noodles were kinda hard to eat but the thin ones were great." [FB, Yelp, Instagram]
The Pungent Tonkotsu Black Ramen News: The Washington Post says the tonkotsu black flavor is "pungent with garlic chips" Facebook user Jo McCoy writes, "We sampled so many great flavors but that tonkatsu black has to be our favorite! Already have plans to return this week!" Instagrammer @joobersz writes, "I got the tonkatsu black and added butter so it was super creamy lol and good flavors." [WaPo, FB, Instagram]
The Flavorful Garlic Lovers Ramen News: Instagrammer @miiirrriii says, "the garlic lover’s is rally good!" But Yelper Alida H. writes, "Thick ramen noodles with a pork-based broth complemented by both fish and chili powder. Wow, this broth was definitely very flavorful, so prepare yourself." [Instagram, Yelp]
The Slow But Friendly Service News: Instagrammer @allisonylu says, "…they need to speed up their operations. People were running all over the place and waited forever for food and drinks." Facebook user Paul Tomaselli adds, "Steven and the management team really go out their way to make sure that the customer is happy satisfied and most of all enjoying their time." Yelper Samantha M. writes, "Where this places stands out is the service. From the host, to the waiter, to the man expediting who I can only assume is the manager. Seriously- this is some of he best service I have experienced in the area." [Instagram, FB, Yelp]