Osaka Ramen calls itself “Denver’s Best Ramen Shop” — and so far, I have to agree. You may have heard of chef-restaurateur Jeff Osaka from Twelve — an amazing restaurant that was once located on Larimer Street, between 22nd and Park Ave (and where Butcher’s Bistro is now). Personally, I was very sad when it closed, but I’m happy that Chef Osaka now has another restaurant.
Osaka Ramen is a really cute underground space in the middle of the quickly-growing RiNo neighborhood — with a casual atmosphere and fun, playful artwork (like the mural of Godzilla trudging through Tokyo). And it always smells like delicious ramen 🙂
And if you sit at the counter, you might just see Chef Osaka overseeing the kitchen. Plus, you’re closer to the amazing smell coming from the huge ramen pots.
One of my favorite things about Osaka Ramen is that, unlike almost every other ramen place I’ve been to in Denver, the food isn’t ridiculously over-salted (except Bones — I love their Lobster Ramen).
I also loved the shishito peppers here (and I’ve had shishito peppers pretty much everywhere). They’re just lightly blistered, so they still taste light and fresh — and the bonito flakes are awesome.
The ramen bowls here run $12-$14, and there are 5 options to choose from. I had the Spicy Miso ramen below (pork and chicken broth, aka miso, sesame, bean sprouts, garlic, spicy pork, soft egg). I would say this actually wasn’t very spicy, but there’s also Sriracha at every table, so that was easily remedied. Otherwise, it was incredibly flavorful and perfectly balanced between all the ingredients.
I would normally never think to order vegetarian anything (because what’s the point, right?). However, the vegetable ramen here is actually really good. It’s probably the thai green coconut curry — which is good enough to make me forgive the tofu.
Leave some room, because the desserts here are fantastic. The $7 “My Wife’s Donuts” (mochi donuts, kinako sugar, salted butter) was one of those things dreams are made of. They’re definitely some of the best donuts you’ll ever eat.