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Tommy Shin Expands Mini Empire of Japanese Restaurants

Nama Ramen arrives with poke and more in Sellwood

Spicy Miso ramen at Nama Ramen sister-restaurant Akasaru Ramen
Yelp/Allen K.

The owner of Akasaru Ramen and standout sushi spot Samurai Blue, Tommy Shin will introduce his Japanese-inspired plates to Sellwood in the form of Nama Ramen. Nama Ramen starts boiling noodles tomorrow, August 22 on August 26, at 7952 SE 13th Ave. (formerly Mekong Vietnamese Grill), the restaurant tells Eater.

Shin founded Samurai Blue on North Mississippi with a focus on environmentally conscious sushi in 2011. Ramen also held a small section of the menu, and due to its popularity, he doubled down with ramen-centric Akasaru on Northeast Alberta in 2016. With Nama Ramen, Shin will again bring something new to the table: ramen bowls with pork-based broths — Akasaru’s are mostly chicken-based — and poke.

On the Nama Ramen menu are six noodle bowls, from a rich, tonkotsu ramen, to a mushroomy vegetarian option and a bowl featuring shrimp and coconut milk in a chicken-dashi broth. The remainder of the menu stays focused, with three poke bowls and greatest-hits izakaya plates from the Samurai Blue and Akasaru menus, like karaage fried chicken and gyoza.

“I am not trying to open the trendiest place,” writes Shin in an email. “I want the place to feel cozy and homey, like it has been around for a long time. I want people to feel comfortable and welcome and enjoy the food."

Shin also says he does not want to serve “overly bold flavors.”

At the grand opening on August 26, Nama Ramen is giving away free side orders of gyoza. Its hours are Monday through Saturday, from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday, from 4 to 9 p.m.

Akasaru Ramen

2712 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211 Visit Website

Samurai Blue

3807 N Mississippi Ave, Portland, OR 97227 (503) 284-1020 Visit Website