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Ramen's the theme -- but they actually serve it just as a side with a regular full menu

RITA A. LEONARD - Nama Ramen Japanese restaurant owners Jason Kim and Tommy Shin; its now open at 7932 S.E. 13th Avenue. "Nama Ramen", a new Japanese restaurant, opened in September at 7952 S.E. 13th Avenue. Owners Tommy Shin and Jason Kim tell THE BEE they are thankful for the neighborhood's interest. "On each of our first four days in business here, we sold out the 200 ramen meals we had prepared," recalls Shin. "Now we have a dozen employees, and can produce 300 meals per day." So what is the difference between this restaurant's cuisine and what you might find in a plastic package of ramen on a supermarket shelf…? All the Japanese style "Nama Ramen" dinners include ramen noodles and a soft-boiled egg – along with the main fare! Examples of the main fare: Tonkotsu/sea salt consists of pork broth, chashu pork, yu-choy bean sprouts, corn, scallions, and bamboo shoots. Coconut Shrimp also includes shrimp and coconut miso, yu-choy, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, corn, and scallions. Shoyu/soy sauce is based on chashu pork and chicken dashi broth, yu-choy, bamboo shoots, and scallions. Sterling Salmon includes yuzu chili, wakame, cucumber, avocado, furikake, sushi rice or greens. For other menu items, pictures & reviews, go online – www.namaramenpdx.com.

Shin has been in business for six years, and has two other local restaurants: Samurai Blue Sushi in North Portland, and Akasaru Ramen in Northeast Portland. "So far, our busy times are noon to 2 p.m., and 6 to 8 p.m.," he adds. "We plan to offer an annual appreciation day here right after Labor Day, with ramen at $5."

The new Sellwood spot is open Monday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., but is closed on Sundays. "We can seat about 50 customers at a time, at tables both indoors and outside," remarks Shin. "We also offer take-out meals. The most popular dish so far is Tonkotsu Ramen, cooked in pork broth for 16 hours. We also feature meals with chicken, tuna, salmon – and salad meals."

For more information, telephone 971/255-0555.

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