What a GREAT surprise to us! We were in the neighbourhood and thought we would give it a try - very glad we did. What an unusual location, but do not let that put you off.
We were there for lunch, and we were the fourth table. The restaurant is small - only with about 5 tables. This is literally a one-man (the chef owner) show. He greeted customers walking in, took orders, made teas, prepared food, cleaned tables, and checked on the customers. I was initially worried that it might take forever to get the food since there was only him doing everything, and I had to say I under-estimated this capable man - he was friendly, organized and efficient, and handled all the tasks meticulously without looking stressed at all.
However, the true reason for the five stars is not that - it was the food. We are ramen lovers, so we need to try the ramen for sure. We had the regular ramen - Shoyu (soy-based). The broth was clear and tasty, and made with fresh ingredients - classic good Shoyu ramen. While I enjoyed Shoyu ramen while in Japan, I stopped ordering Shoyu ramen in North America because they just did not taste as good. This one is the first one that I thought it tasted like what I had in Japan. Noodle was cooked right too.
We had to try other things for our first-time visit. I also had the Tonkatsu (deep-fried breaded pork chop) sandwich, with half California roll. Tonkatsu was thick - crispy on the outside, and juicy + cooked through inside. Even the California roll was excellent - I did not remember the last time I thought California roll was good.
In summary, the chef owner took pride in his culinary delivery. Everything was done with quality in mind.
Since we were the last table for lunch, the chef owner came to talk to us afterwards. We shared our high opinions about his food, and he told us that the article he posted near the entrance was a real famous food magazine in Japan. We could not read Japanese, and he told us that he was covered and recommended by the renown food critics in Tokyo, Yamamoto, who connected the filmmaker of Jiro Dreams of Sushi to Jiro. His specialty is his ramen and gyoza, and he made other things to a gourmet standard. If it passes his high standard, I will say it is more than good enough for most of us.
No question we will be back and can't wait to try the gyozas next time!