*They will be closing on August 20, 2010! They were renting the space from Daruma Market, and even though the market is gone, they were in that space on a month-to-month lease. Now someone wants to buy the entire space (former market and restaurant), so they need to get out. I hope they reopen somewhere else soon!
I've still been on a quest for great ramen in the DC area. Ippudo in NYC was so memorable, I wanted that feeling again. One of my coworkers told me about Ren's Ramen in Bethesda, and asked me 4 times if I had gone yet, so I knew I couldn't put it off anymore.
This place was kind of hard to find. Located in a tiny, random shopping center. Look for this sign on the side of a building at the intersection of Arlington Rd and Bradley Blvd. Parking is difficult too since it's limited. We parked across the street at another shopping center. Closest metro stop would be Bethesda on the red line.
When looking for this place, look for this sign! The market is no longer there, but at least you can see their sign and know you're in the right place. Ren's Ramen is connected to this market on the right.
Finally we found it! As you can see, there isn't really a sign, just white letters on the window.
This place is TINY! It can really only fit about 25 people with eaters lining the entire perimeter of the place, and us sharing a table with other people. Nothing special about the decor. Bright yellow walls, posters, folding chairs and tables.
Onto the food! You literally only go there for ramen. There's 3 kinds on the menu:
1. Ramen in Miso flavored Pork broth with meat
2. Miso flavored ramen in Seaweed broth without meat
3. Ramen in Soy Sauce flavored broth with meat.
You can add toppings to your ramen or order a side of rice or dumplings.
The bf ordered the 'Sapporo Style Miso Ramen- Miso (soy bean paste) flavored soup that uses pork based broth with 1pc roast pork, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, scallions, and ground beef' for $10. He added the 'Stewed fatty pork' for $3.50. OMG the fatty pork was INSANELY GOOD! So much flavor that melted in your mouth. They only give you 2 pieces so it's expensive to add on. The soup was good, not too salty.
I ordered the 'Sapporo Style Shyou Ramen- Soy sauce flavored soup that uses Tonkotu (pork base) broth with 1pc roast pork, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, scallions, and ground beef' for $10. This soup was much saltier than the miso one. I actually preferred the miso one, and the bf liked this one better. I thought it was a lot of food for me, but he didn't think so and ended up finishing mine too.
I've only been to 2 ramen places in the area, and I'd have to say I prefer this one over Temari's because the broth has more flavor. The flavor is partially because it's oily. It's still not as good as Ippudo in my opinion. $10 for a bowl isn't cheap either considering a bowl of pho is like $6. Remember it's 'cash-only'. Its definitely a hole in the wall, but the people are nice, and it's a quick place to grab some noodle soup if you're craving ramen.
6931 Arlington Rd
Bethesda, MD 20814
Tues-Fri: 1130AM - 9PM
Sat: 1130AM - 8PM
Sun: 1130AM - 7PM