You've probably heard the buzz about Noraneko, the new ramen bar from Biwa owners Gabe Rosen and Kina Voelz, but you may not know the menu has some hidden finds for the wellness nut.
"Kina and I are not on a health kick, but I'd say we're aspiring to be on a health kick," Rosen shares, adding that the restaurant's non-ramen options—like the gluten-free fried chicken in potato flour and Salad Shooter-inspired 80s Salad—were a no brainer for the husband-and-wife team. The pair are always trying to balance their shift meals and late nights with home-cooked fare full of veggies, and they know they're not the only ones looking to make some swaps when it comes to food and drinks. "Our Lionheart kombucha on tap outsells any of our draft beer options," Rosen says in slight disbelief. "People are looking for these options."
And Noroneko's healthy, non-alcoholic beverage options go well beyond 'booch. Rosen and Voelz have been playing with their "big fancy juice machine" and whipping up blends like pineapple cilantro and beet apple ginger, and are playing with other ingredients like fennel and pea shoots as they appear at the farmers market. Also look for housemade sodas spiked with ume plum, black pepper, or grapefruit, as well as a Japanese-heavy tea list. On the savory side, Noraneko is hopping on the broth bandwagon and serving up mugs of their clean, chicken-y shio ramen broth.
So the next time you have a ramen craving, throw in an order of 80s Salad loaded with broccoli, carrot, lettuce, almonds, and citrus or potato-flour-coated fried chicken—and a side of kimchi for good measure. It's all about balance, folks.
1430 SE Water Ave