HiroNori craft ramen touts itself as a “craft” ramen establishment even though nothing points towards it being so. Don’t mistake my immediate jab at this new establishment as the knockout punch, it’s actually far from it. The food was good and the service fine, yet I failed to pinpoint what made this place different and settled with the idea that it was “craft” in name only.
Despite this initial absence of the craftiness, the overall ambience and quality did not disappoint.
HiroNori Craft Ramen opened its doors a few weeks ago, offering above average ramen to those in the Pasadena area for a reasonable price. The location is spacious and the ornaments on the table cordon you off from other patrons, leaving you in your own world.
The menu was as expected for a Los Angeles ramen spot, several variations of ramen noodles existed, a plethora of appetizers waiting to be picked at and a venture into the raw side of japanese cuisine with spicy tuna and salmon poke bowls. Additionally, the ramen comes with a combo option, filling your table with a side salad and mini rice bowl.
Pork buns were the perfect appetizer to warm up your stomach in preparation for the main course. The buns were fluffy and their sweetness were the perfect bed the for the deliciously marinated pork. Two pork buns took up the plate and hardly made a dent in the wallet, coming in at just under $6.
The tonkotsu ramen is the standard choice for anyone unfamiliar with the noodle side of japanese cuisine. The tonkotsu includes pork which is pleasantly soaked in the savory and already porky broth that dominates most of the bowl space. Different types of noodles are available including thin, but the traditional thick noodle won out. HiroNori also offers shoyu ramen and vegan ramen options as well for those looking to switch up traditional choices.
All ramen choices have an optional combo plate which included a small side salad and a mini rice bowl, which can additionally contain spicy tuna or salmon.
The small side salad was topped with a sweet white dressing and a generous amount of corn. The mini rice bowl was less mini than expected, which meant more spicy tuna than I had envisioned. The mini spicy tuna rice bowl was perhaps the best item of the night next to the ramen itself.
HiroNori offers its ramen options at a reasonable price, ranging from $10.50 to $12.50 for a bowl, while the appetizers sit between $3.50 and $5.50. If you’d like to have a rice or poke bowl, in place of ramen, you will be looking to pay about $7.00.
HiroNori craft ramen is open is open seven days a week from 11:30 a.m to 9:00 p.m.