Spring is here early, but the warm weather doesn’t stop me from having a nice bowl of ramen! Elk Grove has a great selection of ramen shops, and Zen Ramen & Sushi is one I’ve got to try. Their grand opening was back in November 2019; however, they have changed their menu since then. I went to have lunch on Saturday, February 29th, to learn that they just revamp their menu as of February 27th. Perfect timing!
As soon as I walked in, I noticed the sushi bar. It was towards the front where the waiting area was. I was greeted by the staff and seated immediately. The sushi bar was full, so even if I wanted to sit there, I wouldn’t be able to. As you can see, there was limited seating there. The rest of the seats were on the opposite end of the sushi bar and towards the back. The restaurant itself is not very big, however, judging from the customers that were present, it is definitely family-friendly. It gave me a cozy feeling of being in Japan for some odd reason.
The decor is very unique from what I’ve come across. It is modern but yet traditional. The windows all have wood shades, various Japanese pendant lights throughout, and a Japanese mural wall on the right side. I don’t recall music playing in the background, just light chattering among the customers.
Upon reviewing the menu, I was a bit overwhelmed compared to the other ramen restaurants. They have quite a selection to choose from. If I didn’t ask for assistance, I probably wouldn’t be able to make up my mind because I’ll probably want to try everything. After talking to the staff, I was given the recommendation of Tonkatsu Ramen, Zen Shrimp-Pork Ramen, Zen Special Curry Pork, Chicken Wings, and Pork Bell Fries. After much deliberation since I couldn’t try all those recommended dishes, I went for the Pork Tonkatsu and Pork Belly Fries. If you don’t like pork, they also have chicken options! To see their menu, click here.
The Pork Tonkatsu Ramen tasted like it should, creamy and flavorful. With just a dash of sesame oil, the flavor enhances. I’ve heard that previously they only serve half egg, but with the menu change, they added a whole egg. The toppings were delightful. The cabbage, black mushroom, and bamboo shoots gave texture to the bowl of ramen. The noodle was perfectly cooked as well as the egg. The yolk had a great creamy texture and not overly done. What I really like about Zen Ramen & Sushi is that they make their pepper sauce in-house. So when they say spicy, they really mean it. Because I like spicy food, I ordered mine mild and asked for a side of pepper sauce on the side to add as needed.
If you love bacon, pork belly is hard to say no to. On top of the fries? Why, yes! The chunks of pork belly go great with the fries; however, I wouldn’t be able to eat it all by myself in one sitting. Definitely, a great appetizer to share with everyone. These are not small bits of pork belly. They are decent size chunks. The sauce goes well with it. I’m quite surprised that even after I finished my bowl of ramen, these fries are still crispy. Soggy fries are a no-no for me.
If you love ramen, I’d recommend you try Zen Ramen & Sushi at least once. Then you can determine whether you want to be a repeat customer. The staffs are super friendly, so no complaints from me. I’ve had my fair share of ramen, and so far, I haven’t had one that could give me the spice level that I am looking for. This one does, so now I know where to go for spicy ramen. With that said, I have not had a chance to try their sushi, so that would be one of my other reason to go back and try. If you get a chance to drop by and let us know what you think.
Zen Ramen & Sushi
7119 Elk Grove Blvd Ste 125
Elk Grove, CA 95757
- Monday Closed
- Tuesday- Thursday
- 11:30 AM– 3 PM
- 4:30 PM– 9 PM
- Friday – Sunday
- 11:30 AM–3 PM
- 4:30 PM–9:30 PM