You know you're in an authentic restaurant when most of the diners are from that region. And that's what I found when I visited Momiji in Sparks. Nearly every table was filled with Japanese people and the kitchen was the same. "Ya, I'm from Japan, everybody's from Japan. We are all Japanese," says Chef Yoshi Ono.
And they're offering a staple in the Japanese diet to all of us in Northern Nevada. Ramen. It's a bowl of soup, with noodles, meat, onions, mushrooms, sprouts and more. In Japan, ramen is eaten any time of day. "Sometimes eat for breakfast. Sometimes eat as snack. And sometimes eat dinner, ya everything."
The soup base starts as a stock they boil for up to 8 hours. There are several different broths, each provides its own unique flavor. The noodles are then cooked and softened in the hot liquid.
You can also get a side dish of Japanese pot stickers which Chef Yoshi says are more smooth than the Chinese counterparts. And they have curry rice to go alongside the large white bowls that are delivered piping hot to customer-after-customer. Momiji remained packed well after the typical lunch hour.
Fortunately, they do have plans to expand their dining room and even offer tatami which is a raised Japanese floor so you can eat authentic Japanese food just as they do in Japan.
Momiji is located at 820 Holman Way in Sparks. For more information call 775-284-1995 or visit their Facebook page under Momiji Ramen.
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