Iso Iso – A new ramen spot around the corner that’s worth a visit – The Cavalier Daily


My trip with friends to Iso Iso Ramen was a unique and tasty experience. Located at 1001 W Main Street, it is just a 10-minute walk from Grounds. Personally, I love discovering new restaurants around Charlottesville and love eating Asian food, and Iso Iso Ramen didn’t fail to provide delicious food in a funky restaurant setting.

The Iso Iso chain was created in 2021 by a group of friends who wanted to share their love for quality ramen. The name “Iso Iso” in Japanese means “happily and enthusiastically”. Thus, the restaurant strives to create the “Iso Iso” moment for customers while eating their savory dishes.

The restaurant opened on July 7 in Charlottesville, the first of two Iso Iso chain locations so far. Since opening, they have made great strides in attracting new customers by listening to their feedback. For example, they recently expanded their menu by adding vegan and vegetarian options.

Upon entering, I noticed that the restaurant incorporated modern and industrial looks. High ceilings, pop music and a bar area created an upbeat atmosphere. Garage-like doors span one side of the wall, adding to its edgy look. I thought the mechanical figure of a bowl of ramen and a pair of animatronic chopsticks was a unique touch that added character. My friend and I were greeted promptly by pleasant staff members who helped us place our order smoothly.

In terms of dishes, Iso Iso offers a variety – including a great selection of appetizers, poke bowls, rice bowls and of course ramen. We shared Ika Gesso as an appetizer, a fried squid coated in their seasoned horse batter and topped with a dry chili seasoning. It was served with a sweet and spicy dip dubbed “Iso Iso sauce,” which tastes very similar to yum yum sauce, a sweet and tangy Japanese mayo-based sauce. The fried squid was beautifully served on a bed of cabbage. It was delicately crispy, flavorful and struck a good balance of flavors. Not only was the portion size perfect for sharing, it was also cooked to perfection.

My friend and I also ordered Tonkotsu and Black Tonkotsu Ramen with Chicken Katsu Tenders respectively. Tonkotsu is Japanese pork belly chashu, pickled egg, green onions, red onions, bamboo shoots and corn with pork broth and grated chili. My Black Tonkotsu had Chicken Katsu, Black Garlic Oil, and Fish Cake in addition to the regular Tonkotsu ingredients.

Both dishes were aesthetically plated with good portions. It was obvious that the ramen was fresh and the broth was deliciously creamy. The scallions and onions gave it a nice crunch, and the fishcake and egg was a delicious, soft and chewy addition.

One of the chefs who puts together these delicious bowls of ramen is restaurant manager Jackie Lin. Lin has lived in the United States for 14 years and has years of experience in the restaurant industry here. Lin noted that Iso Iso’s most popular appetizers are Gyoza and Takoyaki and their most popular Ramen dishes are Tonkotsu as well as their signature ramen, Iso Iso Ramen.

The staff were overall very friendly and I could tell they also enjoyed working with each other as they laughed and chatted in the kitchen. The ambience was more like home cooking than anything else.

Iso Iso’s standout feature for me had to be their robot cat named Bella. This adorable little robot carries trays with food across the tables and its weight is censored – the robot will only move once dishes are added and removed. If you stroke her ears, sometimes she’ll talk to you too, which I found very unique.

After my experience at Iso Iso, I can say that the restaurant lived up to its motto for me. Not only was the food served of high quality, but I felt the people working there also embodied the essence of making ramen “with joy and enthusiasm”. I personally enjoyed my time at the restaurant and would recommend any college student who is lucky enough to visit to go with their friends. The restaurant is open every day of the week and weekend from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Source link

Comments are closed.