Daruma Ramen is like a specialty shop, catering to those who want a lighter ramen. Their ramen contains a whole chicken based broth and they use eggless tapioca-based noodles. I didn't know any of this when I visited on the grand opening day a few weeks ago, but the surprise was a pleasant one. The rationale for this method is explained on their website: "All of our stock and bases are freshly made every day from scratch. Whole chicken broth has many great health benefits such as lower calories, lower cholesterol, and high in vitamins." My friend and I both ordered the Miso Ramen, described as the most flavorful of those on the menu. Original whole chicken broth with homemade miso-tare, topped with beansprouts, chicken breast meat, aji tamago, sesame seed, shredded dried red pepper, and homemade ra-yu oil. The flavor was distinct yet light, allowing all the ingredients to shine through. The fact that their noodles are house-made every day is quite impressive; a practice that I am sure is not shared in every ramen shop in the city. They have the perfect texture with a lightness to them.
They also offer a vegan ramen, a clear style shio ramen with a blend of seafood and chicken broth, and a classic shoyu ramen with seafood flavor. I look forward to my next visit to see what extra items and sides they add as the menu evolves. We had no room for their soft-serve wasabi ice cream--another reason for a second trip. Daruma Ramen is a nice alternative for those who don't want to drive far north for quality ramen. The fact that they are open for lunch during most weekdays is an added plus. The Daruma is a Japanese traditional doll thought to be a talisman of good luck. No luck required here. If they stay true to their original philosophy, Daruma Ramen will thrive. (Cathy)