Nomiya, the ramen shop serving the Japanese comfort food since 2017, has moved three blocks up Magazine Street to a spot that allows room for expansion.
Sunday (Nov. 27) was Nomiya’s first day in the building formerly occupied by Del Fuego, a Mexican restaurant that had operated in the space since 2014. Del Fuego closed during the summer.
Nomiya is owned by Hidetoshi “Elvis” Suzuki, former owner and chef of Kanno sushi bar, and brother and sister team Allen and Christie Nguyen.
“The idea for Nomiya was born over eight years ago,” Allen Nguyen said. “A Japanese-style ramen shop was something that Hide (Suzuki) and I always talked about.”
Nguyen’s sister, Christie Nguyen, joined the project and brought her own vision into the restaurant. After living and working in Japan, Christie Nguyen added her expertise in Japanese culture to Allen and Hide’s vision for a perfect New Orleans ramen shop.
“Hide and I take care of the business side of things and the recipes, and Christie does the rest,” Nguyen said.
Nomiya’s menu features classic ramen in a “build a bowl” style, letting customers pick their ramen base and add toppings, such as menma (marinated bamboo shoots), wakame (seaweed) or naruto (fish cake).
Nguyen said that the most popular ramen on the menu, and one that he would recommend to a first-time customer, is Pork Tonkotsu: ramen served in a rich, cream pork bone broth that has been cooked down for at least 12 hours and served with sweet braised pork, ginger, scallions and a soy-marinated soft-boiled egg.
“Cooking it down for a long period creates a rich, thick broth that distinguishes itself from other broths, like the kind you would find in pho,” he said. “With ramen, you want that fatty thickness to the broth. It coats the noodles and creates a dish that’s really slurpable.”
Nomiya’s move to its new location comes with the growth of the business and the need for more space. The previous location sat 24 customers, while the new location will comfortably seat forty-five.
It also boasts outdoor seating, which Nomiya’s team will take advantage of once the staff is more settled and used to serving a slightly larger crowd.
“That space opened up, and we were fortunate to be one of the first people to look at it; we loved the building and thought it was just perfect,” Nguyen said. “The previous space was smaller, which we didn’t mind because ramen shops in Japan are divey and small. However, in America we love our space.”
Nguyen said that the new location will have the same vibe that customers have come to expect, and he will eventually add new items to the menu.
“We have a larger kitchen with more equipment; we have a lot more potential here,” he said. “New people will be pleased with the new place and our regular customers are going to feel at home.”
Nomiya is open from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday through Thursday and on Sunday. On Friday and Saturday, it’s open from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Reporter Marielle Songy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.