A select invite-only group got a first taste of what to expect at a preview party at 1336 14th Street NW on Monday night. At the event, complete with platters of passed sake shots and sample-sized ramen bowls, owner Sam Shoja tells Eater he’s on the prowl for future Jinya locations in Arlington, Alexandria, and Reston.
Next up on the opening list: 11840 Rockville Pike Rockville, which will be its first foray into Maryland. Its East Coast flagship store opened in Fairfax’s Mosaic District a year ago.
During its search for a TBA spot in Arlington, Shoja considered leasing the former American Tap Room space in Clarendon but decided its giant 12,000-square-foot size was too big.
In Logan Circle—its second area location—the new 4,000-square-foot, sit-down ramen spot spans two stories and will feature seating for up to 100 guests at two bars (one on each floor), plus a 20-seat upstairs patio. Bartenders at the hip 14th Street entrant sport checkered flannel, and a zen brick patio—outfitted with plants surrounded by smooth black stones—is attached to the bar via a window and enables drinkers to order while outside.
Jinya also boasts shops in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Houston, Seattle, Atlanta, and Canada. Ramen master Tomonori Takahashi, founder and CEO of Jinya, tells Eater the next location to open in its home base of Los Angeles will be downtown.
Takahashi, the son of a top restauranteur in Japan, has opened dozens of Jinya locations since moving to the U.S. in 2010.
Jinya specializes in Tonkotsu ramen, a pork-based production that’s slow simmered for over 18 hours and then finished with up to 25 toppings. Non-ramen options include quinoa salads, rice bowls, small plates and salmon poke mini tacos. More on menu deets and boozy offerings here.