All photos (4)HiroNori Craft Ramen
HiroNori Craft Ramen
HiroNori Craft Ramen

HiroNori Craft Ramen

7.02 reviews
Japanese, Ramen
Ranked #43 in Irvine restaurants
Popular with:
  • 9.8
    Hipsters
  • 9.8
    Foodies
  • 9.8
    Solo Female
  • 7.4
    Students
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2222 Michelson Dr #234, Irvine, CA 92612
(949) 536-5800
https://hironoricraftramen.com/
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I had been dying to check out HiroNori for some time now since hearing about it. Craft ramen in Irvine? Sign me up. It happened to be National Ramen Noodle Day yesterday so it was only fitting that I stopped by for a bowl. It was just before 8 pm when I put my name down on their waiting list. The names are called out when the configuration of seats comes up and not necessarily in the order that you put your name down. My name was called within 10 minutes. It pays to come at off-peak times. They have a small restaurant and people can be seated at communal tables. By now, you’ve all heard that they charge a 15% service charge in lieu of gratuity. This is fine by me. My server, Mike, as well as the menu, and a little piece of paper reminded me of this fact. I guess people had been up in arms about this? Look, I normally tip more than 15% anyway so this was definitely no skin off my back. If you have an issue with it, you can notify your server to remove it so you can tip as much or as little as you like. My only issue was sitting at the window, right by the door. They really ought to lock the door closest to the window bar seats, so only the other door opens as to keep the cold draft from hitting the patrons sitting by the door. Just a suggestion, but it might not be a big deal for someone who likes a breeze to hit them in the face while they’re eating.

On to the ramen; I went with the shoyu ramen because it’s not always on the menu at the ramen places around town. If you’re a ramen fiend like I am, you know that there are a lot of ramen places around OC. HiroNori is unique in the fact that they make their noodles and broth in house. Hence, craft ramen. I asked for shoyu ramen ($9.50) and black garlic oil ($1) along with their house spicy sauce (free). Mike suggested I go with the regular garlic ($0.50) instead because the shoyu broth is lighter and would not go well with the black garlic oil. Noted, I changed my order. I went with the regular garlic instead. I also opted for ice water and out came this lovely watermelon mint water. Nice! I’m definitely a fan of infused water. The ramen arrived piping hot with spinach, sprouts, bamboo, half an egg, and a heaping pile of garlic. I took a sip of the broth and it was really flavorful and light. I mixed in the garlic. I also mixed in a few spoons of the hot sauce. The noodles are thicker than what I’ve normally had but I like them! I also enjoyed the chewiness as well. The chashu was not only thick cut pork belly, it was also charred and fork tender. It was the best chashu I’ve ever had in a bowl of ramen. Yeah, I said it; BEST. The bowl I ordered was really filling and perfect for a cool evening. The combination of the tender chashu, chewy noodles, and fragrant broth was an elevated experience. Service was great. Multiple servers stopped by and asked how my food was. The bill came quickly and I would definitely come back.

You can also order in advance for pick-up. This is great if you don’t want to hang out in the line. Just head to the register for your order. It’ll be ready when you arrive.

Recommended for:FoodiesStudentsHipstersSolo Female
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Los Angeles
First to Review

Best Tip right now - Don't get scammed by the "Combo"

This place was overhyped by my friends. I was disappointed.

For 3.75 you get a "salad" and rice bowl. add 1.00 if you want Salmon. You're basically paying 5 dollars for 1.5 oz of Salmon. (Yes I asked the server) I literally got 4 cubes of the smallest Salmon I have ever had. SHIT EVEN COSTCO FREE SAMPLES GIVES MORE. The weird thing about the Salmon it was like half cooked??? maybe from the lemon which gave it a weird half seared texture.

10.50 for a Tonkotsu bowl but they skimped out of the egg which is their MAIN marketing tool. I mean think about all the people trying to IG EGG PORN and they make it an "add-on" for 1.75

The server bragged about getting paid 20 an hour and that we do not have to tip. That way the server do not have to try and upsell. HOWEVER, it was god damn near impossible to get my glass of water refilled because they aren't working for tips. I do like the fact that HiroNori pays their servers 20 an hour, but maybe start them at 16/hr so that they have something to work towards, unless shift managers are making 25/hr. Even though we do not have to tip they enforce a 15 percent service charge.. and that includes charging you on the tax too. WTF?? I do like that they are trying to be a "tip" free establishment.

TIP TO THE OWNERS. MAKE THE PRICES OF RAMEN POST TAX. That way it doesn't look like you're scamming your customers with this bullshit of 15 percent service tax on top of sales tax. IE 10.50X1.08(tax) = 11.25. In Japan, the signs outside restaurants sometimes are post tax. Google "Ramen Roll Culver City" Please do not fail like they did.

On to the actual Ramen. For something boiled for 24 hours, I really expected it to be fattier with an oil of fat on top like other places that advertise that they boiled the broth for 20 hours (Yamadaya's Ramen is so fatty if you let it sit, it coagulates) Flavor and texture reminded me of prepackage Tonkotsu paste.

P.S. I prefer KitaKata Ramen down the street, probably because they also have locations in KYOTO and Japan.

19.00 Dollars is how much I paid after tax and service tax... I didn't even get an egg. Definitely does not sound right at all.

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HiroNori Craft Ramen

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