Since opening its first U.S. location in Los Angeles’ Studio City neighborhood in 2010, JINYA Ramen Bar has reflected the hip, relaxed, incredibly delicious vibes of the city. So much so that the late Jonathan Gold wrote favorably of the brand in the Los Angeles Times when it had just a single location in L.A. and a few others in Tokyo, Japan.
In terms of its ramen, JINYA prides itself on doing it right, with broth that is slow-simmered for 10 hours in-house, noodles that are meticulously aged for three days, and 13 signature bowls with more than 20 toppings. The brand also offers something for everyone, with small plates, tapas, salads, and easy-to-approach rice and curry bowls.
Millennials and families love JINYA, says Clay Sanger, COO, because of the ease of service, welcoming vibe, and—of course—delicious food. “When you go in, you can see immediately how we put a focus on providing the freshest ingredients and flavors,” Sanger says. “There's a communal table and people looking to our exhibition kitchen. We put on a show for everybody. It's exciting. The music is loud, the lighting is very unique, and it's just a wonderful ambiance.”
Growth was a goal for founder Tomonori Takahashi, but plans to franchise to the extent the brand has today came only after JINYA’s fan base demanded it. Takahashi decided he had a special thing going and didn’t want to miss opportunities to optimize the brand’s popularity.