Food Review: Eating Vegan at O Ramen


Udon noodles ready to be slurped. Photo by Alexis Shofner/ The Runner

Alexis Shofner, Staff Writer

Over the years, O Ramen has become more than a spot to eat; it has evolved into my favorite comfort space away from home.  

I paid the restaurant my first visit in 2018 a year after their grand opening in March of 2017. I can genuinely say that since my first visit, neither the food nor the service has let me down. Thanks to their vegan options, I have become a frequent ramen consumer and I always find myself comparing other’s ramen dishes to theirs.  

The interior of the space is decorated with anime characters framed on the walls, dimmed lighting, lofi music, and a mural of four well-known ramen eating anime characters on the back wall. Since it was not busy during my arrival, I was seated as soon as I walked in and the host was friendly the entire time, but according to Yelp, it seems that wait-times and staff issues are the main reason behind low-rated reviews. 

To start off the meal, I ordered an appetizer of the vegetable gyozas and side seaweed salad. The gyozas are filled with mixed veggies and are pan fried, giving them a crisp exterior on both sides while still having a slightly chewy texture. It is paired with a gyoza dipping sauce made of soy sauce, sugar and a few drops of sesame oil.   

The seaweed salad consists of fresh seaweed served atop a bed of shredded cabbage. It serves a cool, refreshing bite with a crunchy texture coming from both the seaweed itself and the cabbage. It is delicious on its own, but I added and mixed in the leftover gyoza dipping sauce to enhance the flavors.  

As much as I enjoy O Ramen’s food, I find that the actual ramen noodles themselves are a bit too heavy to digest and take up too much space in the broth. My order, the only vegan option, is the shio tofu ramen, but with a substitution of udon noodles. The vegetable broth in this dish is full of umami and topped with steamed broccoli, bean sprouts, cabbage, corn, green onion, carrots, and tofu. The vegetables hold up to the broth rather well and have a slight crunch to accompany the chewiness of the udon noodles as they both absorb the saltiness of the veggie broth. Each mouthful of this soup is wonderful and comforting; it would be even more so on a chilly day or when you’re sick.  

According to Google Reviews, they hold a 4.6 out of 5 stars versus their Yelp average of 4 out of 5 stars. O Ramen serves quality food for a quality price. At just $12 for the shio tofu ramen, served in a large enough bowl that could fill you up alone, it makes eating on a budget easy and tasteful.