Restaurant Review: Jobu Ramen
Jobu Ramen set up shop in a Grandview spot that was once home to Mazah Mediterranean Eatery. At first, that news was disturbing. Mazah Mediterranean was too good to end so abruptly.
As it turns out, Mazah just moved a couple of doors down the street, it still exists. Jobu Raman has moved into the old digs and given the space its own distinct look. Even on a bright sunny day, the eatery is dark, woodsy and comforting: not exactly what you’d expect from an Asian noodle spot. Still, there’s some front patio seating and also a little interior window space that offer a traditional dining bar, where patrons can sit and look out at the scene on Grandview Avenue.
The menu is on the small side, and that makes ordering deliciously easy.
The Korean BBQ Burrito ($8) can be found under the “snack” category, but it makes a perfect lunch. A soft, thin-ish tortilla is tightly packed with a bundle of rice, chicken that’s dark and infused with flavor, kimchi, a few black beans and a creamy miso aioli to tie it together.
There’s also a Kimchi and Pickles ($6) option on the snack list. It’s a mound of rice with a little adventureland of accompaniments, the best of which is the kimchee which has an appealing, snappy freshness, there are other colorful pickles and a boiled egg for sustenance.
Or there’s the Chicken Wings ($7). Not bad, and the five-spice dry rub makes them a little more interesting than standard bar offerings.
On a more formal front, there are salads: the Cold Noodle Salad with Chicken ($12) features more of that flavorful chicken originally found in the burrito. Savory through and through, it pairs nicely with squiggly noodles and peanut sauce.
The soups are probably the headliners. While creamy soups are hard sells in the summer months, the house broth-based soups should weather the weather (heh) just fine. They’re light and on the refreshing side.
One called “Soy” ($12) actually has zero tofu. It’s named for its broth which is savory. Pile in the noodles, feathery cabbage shreds, egg, some bamboo shoots and roast pork. It has serious chunks of pork, as opposed to weirdly colored, processed slivers found elsewhere in similar soup types. The pork also seems to be marinated in something, so it has a good, briny flavor all on its own.
The Chicken ($12) version of the soup has a similar theme, only with different meat.
Online reviewers have commented about the pricing at Jobu Ramen. Market prices for lunch items such as burritos and (or) pho in Columbus are typically under $10. The couple bucks difference didn’t seem like a deal breaker at Jobu Ramen. Especially if you’re already on the Grandview stretch. The items priced under $10, such as the Kimchee-Pickle combo, or the burrito: those seems like budget-smart options.
Jobu Ramen can be found at 1439 Grandview Ave. It’s open Mondays through Thursdays from 11am until 10pm. On Fridays and Saturdays, the hours are 11am until 11pm. And on Sundays: it’s open 11am until 9pm.
For more information, visit www.joburamen.com.
Photos by Mollie Lyman of www.fornixphotography.com.