At 2nd Language Ramen, 401 N.W. Second St., owner Randy Hobson says time is the key ingredient to any dish. When it comes to creating traditional ramen with that special Pangea-brand spin, the local restauranteur emphasizes prep work to meticulously craft each ingredient before layering them in a scientific-like manner.
And it all starts with the broth.
“The broth is the boss,” Hobson says. “If we’re executing it right, the broth speaks for itself.”
A traditional pork-based broth, Tonkotsu Soup (meaning pork bone in Japanese) is made in a cooker from Japan and features in two of the ramen offerings, including 2nd Language’s most popular dish, the Signature Smoked Ramen. For $15.75, diners are served a steaming bowl of diligently prepared ramen with tonkotsu, a shio base, black garlic oil, cold smoked chasu pork belly, napa cabbage, green onion, bean sprouts, menma (marinated bamboo shoots), sweet corn, and half a soft-boiled egg.
“It’s a learning experience because there are some elements in it that some people aren’t used to,” Hobson says. “People take ramen too seriously sometimes, but there are no rules. It’s fast food in Japan. Relax and enjoy it.”