Oisa Ramen

When you don’t do it often, there’s something exciting about taking yourself on a solo lunch date. I intentionally chose an early train to Boston, knowing my beau had a work lunch and I’d be on my own. After reading up on the latest and greatest in the Boston restaurant scene, I planned to go to Oisa Ramen, which happened to be in the neighborhood where I later needed to meet Albert and which made several best new restaurant lists.

Oisa Ramen had started as a pop up, but after several years of serving to obsessed patrons, they opened a permanent spot last month. It’s tiny – only about nine total seats (all at a counter), but ramen is one of those meals that’s best enjoyed unbothered. I don’t want to talk; I just want to slurp.

The menu is equally small. There is some poke and donburi, but really you’re there for the ramen, of which you have three choices: Smokey Shoyu (vegan with burnt shallot oil, shitakes, and bok choy), Truffle (same as the smokey shoyu but with truffled mushrooms and now vegetarian rather than vegan, thanks to the soy egg), and Tonkotsu (with pork, scallions, and greens). I went with the truffle ramen and added pork. I normally think of a salty broth when eating ramen, but this had a rich umami flavor. The broth is tasty if not traditional and the delicate pork (sliced thinner than I’ve ever seen) and perfectly cooked egg were probably the best of their kind I’ve had.