Jinya Downtown Tulsa Review
I often get asked to come do restaurant reviews or to promote certain specials or promotions. While I don’t mind doing that, I always want to be sure and deliver something that me or my wife could scroll through and read and get some good information to make an educated decision as a consumer. As we all know, our wallets are where we decide who gets supported.
Am I the only one who feels like every time I stroll downtown; I see 3-4 new restaurants I’ve never heard of? Sure, they look awesome outside, the Instagram looks cool. But, like, what’s it like? Is it worth the money?
Here’s my full MoodyFoodieTulsa Review of Jinya Ramen Bar in Downtown Tulsa.
It’s been raining off and on all day. The sky is all one color of a muted gray. Nestled right near the corner of 2nd and Frankfurt, I pull right up to the front door in a parallel parking space (first try, holler!) 😉 Upon walking in I’m greeted by a kind young hostess with a facemask on and I notice the signs about social distancing and sanitation. We’re asked if we have a preference where we sit and my wife requests to sit near a wall that’s covered in foliage around a window. Better lighting, she says, better for selfies I’m sure.
Jinya Holdings is celebrating it’s 10th anniversary. This location has only been in Tulsa about 4 years but that company has been around over twice as long. The Jinya holdings originates straight back to Japan. The creators made their way to California and decided America needed to have true, authentic Ramen Bowls. Since then, 32-34 franchise locations have opened. The Tulsa location opened in December of 2016 and has only been doing better and better since it opened. We got to sit down and speak with Mike, the General Manager.
“Jinya is a great example of a small franchise doing it the right way”.
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Mike introduced himself and told us a little bit of the history mentioned above. He even recommended a couple good Netflix documentaries regarding Sake and Japanese culture and you could see him begin to light up. He truly is a connoisseur of his location and it’s clear he’s tried to soak up as much information as he could while he’s been there. We smiled at his passionate review of the restaurant and he then took our drink orders.
Mike walks off to get our drinks and I finally get a look around. The restaurant is cool, quiet. Post Malone plays overhead, and I start noticing all the modern light fixtures with Edison bulbs as far as the eye can see. The architecture is open, exposed, and modern. There’s mostly women here and a couple families. I glance over at the bar and notice the bartender with his mask on cleaning his station and lightly bobbing his head to the song playing and I smile to myself.
We allowed Mike to help guide us to give us the highlights of the menu so we could get a true feel for what Jinya had to offer. We sipped on Mango Sake while we waited. For appetizers we had the Pork Gyoza and the Brussel Sprout Tempura. However, the shining star had to be the Tokoyaki (octopus balls). I know, I thought the same thing. What in the heck. However, Mike explained it’s pretty traditional in Japanese street food and we thought “why not?”. It was crispy on the outside, and tender on the inside. Not slimy at all. The texture was really easy to bite into and the toppings made all the flavors pop. My wife and I are currently arguing over who gets the last one that we took home.
For our entrée’s I had the Spicy Chicken Ramen bowl. Mike said this was the “Big Mac of Jinya” meaning their staple item or their most popular item. It can be ordered to your desired heat level. My wife had the Sprout Up Ramen bowl. Hers came with pork belly and Brussel sprouts. As we ate Mike told us another thing he loves about this place is that there are certain dishes offered which pay homage to actual traditional Japanese Ramen bowls but there’s also lots of “Americanized” options so everyone has something they can enjoy here. We couldn’t agree more. We were both so surprised how tender the meat was. I was worried it would have been difficult to chomp off big bites of meat with chopsticks, but it comes right apart. As we sit down a group of 3 young girls come and sit down next to us and notice our food and order the same thing. My wife began talking about how she was shocked how they got the Brussel sprouts in her bowl to stay crunchy despite being in broth.
Full and satisfied Mike packs up our food (you can easily share an app and an entrée with your date and both leave full) and asked a little more about me and my blog. We chatted for a while the servers and bartender serviced the couple tables near us and we paid our tab and left with a full bag of leftovers.
It’s safe to say Jinya Ramen Bar is MoodyfoodieTulsa approved. Stop in and grab lunch or take a friend here. Whether you dress up or down you’ll be totally comfortable in this Tulsa hot spot.