Lately, Lawrence has been experiencing a taco renaissance. Taco Zone has expanded from a kiosk within the Replay Lounge to a storefront presence on 8th and New Hampshire. Bullwinkles is now housing 14th Street Tacos. And Fuzzy’s remains as busy as ever.
However, one spot that might not be on Lawrence’s radar is Ramen Bowls. Well known for their Hawaiian-influenced Japanese fare, Ramen Bowls also offers a selection of tacos as well. While the chicken tacos looked appetizing, the pork belly tacos could not be ignored.
Served on softshell flour tortillas that appear to have been grilled just a bit, Ramen Bowls’ tacos will not be confused with traditional Mexican fare. For starters, while onions are included, they are of the spring variety. Also included is a healthy dose of locally-sourced greens which help absorb the excess oil, produced by the delicious pork bellies and special house aioli. Expertly prepared by Cod, the tacos were excellent and are definitely worth checking out if one is looking for a taco experience that is out of the ordinary.
The gyōza offered by Ramen Bowls is also quite tasty. These pork-filled, deep-fried dumplings are served with a white vinegar and chili oil rather than the traditional soy sauce and it makes for a different culinary experience. Eschewing the semi-sweetness of the soy sauce, Ramen Bowls’ concoction is a bit more tart with the chili adding a small amount of bite to the crunchy gyōza.
Another appetizer worth checking out (although it could function as a meal depending on the size of your stomach) are the veggie eggrolls. Stuffed with napa cabbage, egg noodles, and pineapple and served with a sweet chili oil, these eggrolls are delicious enough to make even the most seasoned eggroll connoisseur take notice.
Ramen Bowls is located on 125 East 10th Street in downtown Lawrence. The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturdays.