Taking over the Adams Avenue space last occupied by sandwich shop Burnside is a new Japanese eatery, Nozaru Ramen Bar, that’s aiming to open by the end of April. Nozaru is a new concept from owner Hiroshi Toukairin, a Tokyo-born sushi chef who owns Sushiya in Liberty Station and launched Ototo Sushi Co. in Clairemont in 2014; Toukairin is also gearing up to open another Ototo outpost in the up-and-coming Del Sur Town Center. He says the 1,000-square-foot Normal Heights space, which has been remodeled to add more seating, is an ideal first home for his casual ramen spot, which will serve lunch and dinner daily, staying open until 1 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.
Though Ototo Sushi Co. has ramen on its menu, Nozaru’s ramen offerings are all new, ranging from Tokyo Chicken Ramen, which has a traditional chicken-based soy sauce soup, to the pork bone soup-enriched Tonkotsu Heights Ramen and a spicy miso version called Angry Ape Ramen; each bowl can be customized with either thick or thin ramen noodles. There’s even a soup-less ramen, inspired by a classic Japanese dish called abura soba, whose indulgent toppings include pork chashu, bacon, garlic oil, and a poached egg, plus a handful of popular sushi rolls from Ototo Sushi Co. Nozaru will also serve beer, wine and sake.
Toukairin told Eater that he intends to shift Sushiya into an Ototo Sushi Co. and is planning to open more outposts of both his sushi concept and Nozaru Ramen Bar. Next Wave Commercial’s Paul Ahern facilitated Nozaru’s entry into Normal Heights and shared, “I always assumed my ramen eating days were over once I graduated college, but nowadays especially it feels like the modern day noodle-slurping concepts have significantly grown in popularity and become quite the rage amongst San Diego diners; I’m really psyched to experience what Hiro and his team have created with Nozaru.”