Emily J. Sullivan
Last night led me on an impromptu date night to Show Ramen of La Verne.
Its predecessor Show Sushi of San Dimas was a local favorite, so the place had some street cred by default.
Walking in, the restaurant was open and appeared to be very clean, it had that new car smell and feel.
The main dining room has tables and booths throughout, nothing too cozy.
There is sushi bar style seating that wraps around the kitchen and a room off to the side, circular with a low-bar top seating lining the perimeter and large glossy black-tiled pillars that frame the doorway.
The service was top-notch and the wine pours were generous. My date enjoyed a large Sapporo and I sipped on plum wine, we split a hot sake that had a kick and arrived at the table piping hot, as advertised.
For appetizers we ordered the takoyaki, a fried octopus ball that had a crunchy lining and soft filling.
The gyoza was delicious, an item I’d order again any day.
The restaurant treated our table to shrimp pops on the house, a fried shrimp lollipop drizzled with spicy mayo and sweet teriyaki sauce. Finger-licking good.
“The food is damn good,” said Michael Garcia, the lively and candid server who handled all the tables on a one-man shift.
“The quality of the food is what will draw people in and keep them coming back.”
For entrées we both ordered the ramen. It was my first experience at a ramen joint, and this one promises authentic Japanese cuisine.
Two steamy bowls arrived with an abundance of noodles, veggies of my choosing, and large pieces of beef. My date enjoyed the pork ramen that seems to be a staff favorite.
“The pork was really flavorful, it made the broth have a very distinct flavor, it was delicious,” said Michael St. Martin, who accompanied me on my ramen excursion.
More patrons filled the restaurant as the night went on. After the hot sake was done and the glasses clinked their last clink, I was able to get some background on how Show Ramen came to be.
Owner Mike Jin moved here from Korea with his wife.
“This is our third location, we’re hiring if you know anyone,” Jin, who also works as a chef, said.
The La Verne location currently scores four and a half stars on Yelp, with the shrimp shumai, being mentioned repeatedly.
“I recommend the pork miso ramen and the salmon teriyaki bowl to anyone coming in,” said Ian Lieu, a server who humbly and endearingly says one of the best things about Show Ramen is the service.
Lieu is right – the service was great. We were treated like guests of honor, as were the other tables from what I observed.
Prices were fair with ramen bowls averaging around $13, the appetizers mostly under $10 and the beer and wine running about $7 a pop. The small hot sake was only $5, and it is $5 well spent.
Show Ramen is located at 1263 Foothill Blvd. in La Verne. It is open Monday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday, 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Emily J. Sullivan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.