The Secret Is Out: Ninja Ramen Serves Up Killer Cocktails & Ramen
Ninja Ramen is physically a hole-in-the-wall off Washington. The entrance kisses the avenue and you would probably think it was abandoned if the owners didn't prop the door during operating hours. But, maybe that's the point of this secretive establishment.
Photos by Molly Dunn You've probably driven by Ninja Ramen a hundred times without noticing it was there.
As you take a step inside, you feel like you've walked into a secret society where all the people there look at you like you don't belong. Okay, that did not happen to me at Ninja Ramen; the staff was very welcoming. But, the hush-hush vibe certainly makes you feel like an outsider walking into an private organization ... of ramen-eating ninjas watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on the flat screen TV.
This small dark bar/restaurant has only been open for a few weeks, and has received much buzz about its inventive cocktails named after ninjas. Oh yeah, and its ramen. At the front, you can sit at the bar and watch the bartender whip together a multitude of drinks, like the kasumi seizo, cleverly described as something that "reminds you of the smell of sunflowers, even though it doesn't." It's a combination of sparkling sake, soju, St. Germain, pomelo and Peychaud's.
At first, the Amy Jo Johnson is sweet, then it is bitter.
I decided to try the Amy Jo Johnson cocktail not "because I had a crush on the Pink Ranger," but because I always wanted to be the Pink Ranger (I was her for Halloween). It's a combination of mezcal, ume liqueur, lime, basil and strawberry -- a little sweet with a savory kick at the end. Your first sip of this light pink drink is fruity, but a couple of seconds later, the scent of basil and ume liqueur comes shooting up your nose -- I quickly learned this was not a sweet drink anymore.
This story continues on the next page.