Rockin’ LA-based ramen restaurant heats up Heights development

A LA-based ramen shop will begin ladling its vegan broths next week. Rakkan Ramen will open on May 3 in the M-K-T Heights mixed-use development (600 N Shepherd Dr.).

To celebrate its Texas debut, the restaurant will give away 100 ramen meals on a first-come-first-served basis: 50 at 11 am and 50 more at 6 pm. Diners may also enter drawings on Instagram and Facebook for $25 gift cards and an iPad; register between April 28 and May 2.

Traditionally, ramen restaurants make a pork-based tonkotsu broth, but Rakken Ramen’s vegetable broth gets its umami punch from a combination of kombu (edible algae), mushrooms, carrots, onion, ginger, and garlic. Diners may satisfy their carnivorous cravings by adding pork chasu or chicken to their noodles. The menu also includes an extensive selection of appetizers and small plates such as gyoza, shumai, karaage, hand rolls, and steamed buns.

The Heights area is suddenly flush with ramen restaurants. Rakkan will join well-regarded establishments Jinya Ramen, Samurai Noodle, and Ninja Ramen. An outpost of Las Vegas’ Shokku Ramen will replace BCK later this year.

Rakkan Ramen comes to Houston from franchisee Chris Lav, who opened a Pokeworks at the corner of Westheimer and Shepherd Drive to Houston in 2018; he now operates five locations of the NYC-based chain. Lav discovered Rakken Ramen during a visit to Los Angeles and decided to bring five locations to Houston.

“I couldn’t believe a 100-percent plant-based broth tasted so good. I was sold,” he said in a statement.

Rakkan Ramen will open in M-K-T’s Building 5, where it will join Blue Sushi Sake Grill, a lively sushi concept from the Omaha-based Flagship Restaurant Group, and Da Gama Canteen, an Anglo-Indian pub from Oporto owners Shiva and Rick Di Virgilio. Both are expected to open this summer.

The restaurant will open daily at 11 am.

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