Hangout Ramen, a ramen spot and sushi bar, made its debut Aug. 22 on South Carrollton Avenue and Willow Street. The restaurant is in the building that was home to Little Tokyo Small Plates and Noodle Bar and, most recently, Masterp1ece Japanese Cuisine, which closed earlier this summer.
Owner Iwan Santoso, who is from Indonesia, brings some of his own culture to the menu that also includes Japanese, Chinese and Vietnamese flavors.
True to its name, the ramen menu is extensive and promises to bring the Japanese favorite to an area that has been lacking. Santoso takes great care in preparing the meat that goes into his ramen; he cooks it for up to six hours to ensure it’s ready for the broth.
Ramen menu highlights include Curry Ramen, served in a creamy, curry pork broth with shrimp; Tonkotsu Black Ramen, made with pork belly, crispy pork gyoza in a creamy pork broth; and the restaurant’s signature Hangout Ramen, in a creamy, garlic pork broth, served with thin noodles, pork belly, shrimp and ground beef. The Hangout Ramen is adapted to the diner’s choice of heat level: mild, burning or explode.
The restaurant’s menu is extensive and also includes 13 kinds of fried rice, a selection of street food such as Chicken Katsu and Panang Curry Shrimp, and other noodle dishes like Yaki Udon and Shrimp Lo Mien.
A selection of shrimp, oyster or Hangout banh mi, made with grilled pork belly, rounds out the hot dishes. For those craving sushi, Hangout Ramen offers an extensive menu of specialty rolls all prepared by an expertly trained sushi chef.
Santoso is especially proud of the restaurant’s appetizer menu that offers egg rolls, wontons, dumplings, tempura and beef tataki. His goal is to create a restaurant where someone can get classic Asian comfort food.
Hangout Ramen is open Thursday through Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch and 4 to 10 p.m. for dinner.
Reporter Marielle Songy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.