Kimchi ramen 0658 xjmlea

Kimchi ramen is just the beginning.

Broke college kids aren’t the only ones gorging on oodles of noodles during midterm season this March. Believe it or not, the National Pasta Association (yes, it’s a real registered organization) has named March National Noodle Month. It’s about time, considering noodles have been around since the 13th century. Now Houstonians have one more thing to celebrate aside from the rodeo, St. Patrick’s Day and spring break.

Japanese pub Izakaya chose March 1 to roll out a new menu featuring six eclectic ramen creations. Chef Jean Philippe Gaston uses a trio of noodle varieties (not all ramen is the same thickness), including sapporo, hirauchi and tonkotsu, each of which contributes a slightly different slurping experience. But the main difference is in the broth. Indulge your taste buds with Mexican-inspired menudo ramen; kimchi ramen made with pickled veggies, but also fish and pork and classic flavors like miso and shoyu. Most decadent of all is the mazeman, consisting of chicken and mushrooms, but also brandy-cured foie gras. Bowls are a reasonable $12-$14 per serving.

A Japanese-inflected twist on a tapas bars, Izakaya is a hotspot for groups of friends to sit back and drink, while snacking on light bites shared by the whole bunch. This pub is known for serving primarily grilled, roasted or boiled meats and vegetables, with a narrow selection of raw items as well.

Get the best bang for your buck on March 11, National “Eat Your Noodles Day,” when each ramen will be priced at a meager $5 per serving plus tax and gratuity. Grab your colleagues during your lunch break, because the offer lasts only from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., just before happy hour.

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Izakaya

$$$ Japanese 318 Gray St.

Thanks to chef Manabu Horiuchi’s partnership with chef Jean-Philippe Gaston, the eatery boasts interesting Japanese-by-way-of-Houston fusion dishes—chicken-f...

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