We are meeting with Clay Sanger of JINYA Ramen Bar: JINYA Ramen Bar was founded by Tomo Takahashi in 2010. His parents were restaurateurs in his native Japan, but he frequently visited the United States. Throughout his teenage and college years, he became obsessed with the goal of opening an authentic ramen restaurant on La Brea Avenue in Los Angeles.
In 2010, Tomo made his vision a reality and opened the first JINYA Ramen Bar in Studio City, California. The restaurant was a communal eating experience utilizing community tables, a welcoming environment accompanied by modern interiors and an authentic Japanese menu. People were falling in love with the authentic Japanese noodles and broth, you couldn't find anywhere else. In 2012, Tomo and his team began franchising JINYA Ramen Bar - the first and only gourmet ramen franchise in the U.S. Fast forward to today and there are 35 locations from Los Angeles to Washington D.C. and everywhere in between.
The franchise has received praise from prolific late L.A. Times restaurant critic Jonathan Gold, and Hollywood stars are always coming in for their insatiable ramen fix.