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Ren's Ramen CLOSING

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Though they want to reopen somewhere else...apparently the Daruma Japanese market they were renting from has closed.
http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/bl...

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Daruma
6931 Arlington Rd E, Bethesda, MD

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  1. Huge bummer...this place is a real favorite of mine. I hope they re-open SOON (before cold weather!) and in a better location.

    1 Reply
    1. re: woodleyparkhound

      Too bad. The soup was good but the location was horrible.

    2. I had dinner at Ren's last night. Probably my last in that location, sigh... Just wanted to give an updated report on the closing. Currently, their last day will be Sept. 3. They will be open on that day, but will probably close early. There is an upcoming meeting about when they have to pack up and go. At that meeting, it may be decided that they can stay another week - or two. This remains to be seen. They still haven't been able to find another location for the re-opening.

      The miso ramen last night was as good as it always is. I so love Ren's Ramen and miss it already!

      1 Reply
      1. re: woodleyparkhound

        I hope they stay in Bethesda. There are plenty of empty spaces that they could move to, but the rent is going to be the key ingredient here. If they had an even slightly better location, I am sure they'd serve up a lot more bowls of that glorious ramen, too.

      2. I'm so hurt!!!

        I drive all the way from Glen Burnie every so often just to enjoy a good bowl of Ren's Ramen. I really do hope they open in a new location soon. :(

        1. Article in today's City Paper:

          http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/ar...

          1. My husband and I moved to DC recently from LA and I'm jonesing for good ramen -- bad. I've been reading a lot about Ren's, but I'm disappointed to hear that it's closing. I hope it does open up in a location near public transportation. Can anyone tell me what their ramen is like? Do they let you choose how you want your noodles (eg. soft, normal, etc.)? What about the soup base? Can you choose that as well? Anywhere else we could try that's in DC proper or at least near metro? Thanks hounds.

            6 Replies
            1. re: dcgremlintummy

              I tired the miso ramen. I believe they also have shoyu. I thought the soup base was rich and deep. Very satisfying. The noodles were too soft and the regular pork topping is dry and uninteresting. As I place more importance on the soup base, this was a really good bowl of ramen for me. I never went back, but I would order the noodles 'katame' or hard if there is ever a next time. I would also pay for the upgraded 'fatty' pork topping which I have heard is much better.

              I hope they can open back up. It was a valuable addition to the food choices in the DC area.

              1. re: Steve

                I went last Sunday and also had the miso ramen. They also had tonkotsu and vegetarian ramen, if memory serves (and maybe also shoyu?). I concur with Steve that the soup base was very good.

                They were collecting e-mail addresses, I assume to notify patrons where they end up. I added mine and will post if I hear something.

                They also have a Web site - www.ren-ramen.com.

                1. re: Lori D

                  Thanks for the info, Lori D -- but ... I just emailed them at the address given on their site and got this:

                  Mail Delivery Subsystem to me
                  show details 10:59 AM (5 minutes ago)
                  Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:

                  info@rens-ramen.com

                  Technical details of permanent failure:
                  DNS Error: Domain name not found

                  Grrrrr.... this is a huge pet peeve of mine. Don't give an email address if it isn't going to work!

                  1. re: woodleyparkhound

                    Maybe if you try an e-mail to info@ren-ramen.com?

                    It looks as if the rens-ramen.com domain is a typo.

                    1. re: Lori D

                      Good eye, Lori. It does seem to be a typo (their own typo, on their own website) as the email I just sent to info@ren-ramen.com seems to have gone through. Thanks!

                      1. re: woodleyparkhound

                        The site is new; the URL resolved to their Yelp page the first time I tried it (earlier this week). So at least it's not a long standing typo.

                        I sent them an e-mail about the typo, so hopefully they will fix it.

            2. We had lunch at Ren's today and were assured that they are trying to stay in Bethesda, so keep your fingers crossed! It was really a little too hot out for a giant bowl of soup, but we just had to.

              1 Reply
              1. re: rarotonga

                I hope they open in time for cooler fall weather.

              2. For the past couple of weeks I've really had ramen on the brain, since the closing of Ren's has sent me into a panic. I was in NYC over Labor Day weekend, and wanted to try the best ramen that NYC has to offer, by way of comparison with Ren's. NY hounds steered me to Ippudo.

                Things that Ippudo does better than Ren's:

                1) the pork that comes with it -- SO much better at Ippudo! This is the place where I wish Ren's would improve. Not only is quality of the pork way better at Ippudo, they also provide a lot more of it. I also opted to pay $4 extra for kakuni (braised pork belly). This was delicious as well, but not necessary as the pork that comes in it is so plentiful.

                2) Ippudo tops its ramen with a large scoop (about 2 T.) of finely chopped ginger; I loved this addition.

                3) the additions in general are better at Ippudo - here is how they describe their miso ramen on the menu: Soy bean paste flavored ramen noodle in 'the original tonkotsu' based soup with pork belly shashu, cabbage, spinach, menma, ginger & scallions.

                4) there is lots more variety at Ippudo - they have 8 types of ramen. I ate there twice - once for the miso ramen and the second time I had "karaka miso" in which a "special blended hot spice" is added. both were excellent.

                Things Ren's does better than Ippudo:

                1) the broth -- I really prefer Ren's broth, which is richer, deeper and porkier. While it was good, Ippudo's broth seemed flat and watery in comparison

                2) the noodles - the ones at Ren's seem a bit more substantial with a bit more chew than the ones at Ippudo (I tried both regular and "hard cooked" noodles at Ippudo)

                3) price - a basic bowl of miso ramen at Ippudo is $13 (but the pork they use has to cost them more)

                If Ren's improved the quality and quantity of their add-ins (especially upping the quality/quantity of the pork they use and adding chopped ginger), it would rise to the top of what NYC has to offer.

                Ren's, please hurry back!

                6 Replies
                1. re: woodleyparkhound

                  Wow, thanks for your detailed analysis. Ren's soup base is impressive, though I don't see why they put ground beef in it. It can't contribute much to the flavor with all that pork, fat, and salt. I think it is a 'Bethesda concession.'

                  I hope they come back soon.

                  1. re: woodleyparkhound

                    Thanks for the detailed comparison.

                    For me, I think Ippudo is significantly better across the board, including their pork broth. Hakata-style noodles are thin, so that comes down to preference. You may want to try the akamaru modern, which is sort of Ippudo's signature ramen, the next time you're in NYC. That's the one most people rave about.

                    Regardless, I hope Ren's returns quickly.

                    1. re: hcbk0702

                      Thanks -- Akamaru modern is on my list!

                      1. re: woodleyparkhound

                        I drove by today and it looked open - did they get an extension of their lease?

                        1. re: beauxgoris

                          Someone told me they heard that Ren's had gotten an extension until the end of the month, however they have not changed their website. I've been hoping someone would post something definitive here.

                          1. re: woodleyparkhound

                            I went by the day after they had said they were closing, and the place was pretty gutted. If they reopened, they would have had to carry a whole lot of stuff back in...

                  2. A new Japanese restaurant opened up recently that serves several types of ramen. It's called Satsuma. They make the broth there but not the noodles. I don't eat pork and all their ramen are made with pork so I haven't tried it. The couple of dishes I had there were good and lots of Japanese folks were eating there when I was there. Maybe someone else can try the ramen there and report back.

                    -----
                    Satsuma
                    8003 Norfolk Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: hibye

                      So now that it's closed - where can one get good cheap pho? (washington, d.c. - bethesda area)

                      1. re: beauxgoris

                        I like Pho Viet in Columbia Heights. It's not the best pho I've ever had in my life, but it's the best I've ever had in DC.

                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6865...

                        I was there last weekend, in fact, mourning the loss of Ren's throughout the meal!