Obento-Ya Japanese Bistro
Tucked into a sleepy block of Como Avenue just a few minutes away from the University of Minnesota, Obento-ya Japanese Bistro doesn't have super flashy decor or a let's-do-sake-bombs! vibe, but what it does have is spectacular ramen. This spot only specializes in three types of ramen, but each is so vastly different from the others that you'll find one to fit your mood. The house ramen comes with the traditional shoyu broth and noodles resting under a crispy-to-perfection slab of ginger pork and slippery strands of seaweed. The Karaka-tantan ramen packs a heat-filled punch with spicy miso broth and ground pork, bean sprouts, and thin strips of toothy mushroom. The Champon ramen goes all out, with both seafood and pork swimming in a bowl of blackened garlic oil tonkotsu with an array of cabbage and carrots filled to the brim. If your choice of ramen doesn't already have a quail egg, be sure to order one — they're soft with creamy whites and a gel-like yolk that almost melts in the piping-hot liquid.