Hiromaru is trying to get huge. The fusion ramen spot was created by chef Hironori Kawai, well-known in Japan for his many TV appearances and for routinely winning the top prize at ramen festivals and competitions. He has six restaurants in and around Tokyo, and the new one in Las Vegas (opened March 5) is the first of what might be many noodle shops in the United States; the goal for the franchise is to open 100 restaurants within five years.
If you’re a ramen freak, you need to try this stuff. Similar to the Japanese-Italian restaurant Nakamura-Ya just a few blocks away on Spring Mountain Road, Hiromaru blends deliciously unorthodox flavors into its noodly creations, most notably in the signature carbonara ramen ($10.95). The soup combines pork broth and milk, and its flat, thick noodles are topped with egg yolk, bacon and fresh scallions. Even the more traditional shiroi tonkotsu ramen ($7.95) incorporates a creamier broth, adding the chef’s own salted sauce and brown garlic oil for savory notes.
The soup bases are definitely different at Hiromaru, sometimes a little more lightly flavored than other local ramen shops, but I find these perfectly chewy noodles to be superior to most of their peers. That’s why I recommend the tate-yama ($9.95), a mountain-sized double portion of the thicker noodle option with chashu pork, hard-boiled egg, bean sprouts and cabbage in rich soy sauce and pork fat broth. There’s no such thing as too much noodle.
Hiromaru Fusion Ramen 5300 Spring Mountain Road #101, 534-7878. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.