The Plaza District has another hit restaurant in their neighborhood with Gorō Ramen + Izakaya. The Japanese restaurant slings out ramen, nikuman, and drinks in a place that’s a blend of Ramen and Plaza District shops.
The inspiration for Gorō Ramen comes from the Japanese film Tampopo. Billed as the “first Japanese noodle western,” a pair of truck drivers, Gorō and Gun, help a widow bring her failing ramen shop back to life. Sorry, gamers, but Gorō Ramen has nothing to do with the Mortal Kombat characte—at least not now, but perhaps they’ll make a cocktail called “Fatality.”
On the subject of cocktails, Gorō had several Japanese-inspired drinks. My wife and I loved the Negroni-ish, which contained Asian pear-infused Plymouth gin, vermouth, and Aperol. They had other drinks like The Last Samurai with Takara shochu, Green Chartreuse, lime, and Luxardo Maraschino liqueur; and the Pai Mei with sake, gin, Urban Tea House matcha, honey, syrup, and lavender bitters. In addition to the cocktails, they serve beers, wine, and bottled sake.
For appetizers, Gorō had a brussels sprouts salad, cauliflower, and tebasaki. The tebasaki was fried chicken wings with gochujang fish caramel, furikake, pickled daikon, and cilantro. I didn’t know what half of those were, but the chicken was delicious! The tebasaki was a perfect blend of tender juiciness and crispy coating.
As previously mentioned, Gorō’s other highlighted offering is their nikuman, which are house-made steam buns, with pork belly, tofu, and chicken options to pick. As you can see from my photo of the tofu nikuman, Gorō made them like tacos. Tasty steamed bun tacos they were!
Now for the all important ramen. With everything else being so wonderful, the ramen lived up to the build-up of tastiness. Gorō had three options: tori paitan, with chicken broth, pork belly, menma, fried garlic, bean sprouts, ajitama, and negi; spicy miso, with chicken broth, roasted garlic miso, spicy pork meatballs, corn, bean, sprouts, ajitama, goma, and negi; and the vegan option, yasai, with vegan broth, tofu, roasted tomato, bean sprouts, roasted rushrooms, fried shallots, and negi. According to their menu, the chicken based broth was prepared for over 12 hours to get its rich, silky creamy broth similar to pork based tonkotsu. One can request extra noodles, extra pork belly, and a chili bomb. Feel free to slurp your noodles! It is the polite thing to do.
There are no reservations, eating is dine-in only, and no parties larger than six. There are not many ramen shops in Oklahoma City, but the Plaza District has a great one with Gorō Ramen + Izakaya.