When you walk up to Gom Ramen, you notice it’s housed in a quirky triangular building with a high peak.
Inside, you’ll notice posters highlighting its menu or giving instructions on how to use chopsticks. You might note its dark molded ceilings deeply contrasting against the light maple bar that gives you a peek into the kitchen.
Gom Ramen offers handmade ramen with Gomtang Yooksoo broth – a Korean beef broth that is left simmering for more than six hours to achieve a delicate, clean flavor.
Gom’s menu is simple, offering homemade noodles or rice with a special house spicy sauce (you pick the level of hot, from zero to three) and extras such as meat or egg. Everything from the simmered broth to the pickled daikon radish is homemade – so the earlier you get in the better (they do run out).
Gom Ramen opened on July 10 at 1821 Hunter just one block south of Interstate 10. El Paso Inc. talked with manager Kyuseob Kyung about the new eatery.
Q: Do you come from a food background?
No, not at all. I worked for a retail store and Jong Koh, the owner, was doing website for the company I was working for. That’s how we met. He actually designed everything you see here.
Q: It used to be this bare liquor shop at one point. Why did you decide to build here?
Mr. Koh spent seven years looking for the right location. The shape of the building is what drew Koh to this building. It reminded him of home, and he wanted to share that with everyone. He designed and built everything you see like that bar that leads into the kitchen.
Q: Tell us about the recipes.
The recipes are fourth-generation, passed down. He wanted people to feel how he felt eating his family’s food when he was young – happy.
Q: How did you choose the name?
Gom has two meanings. “Gom” means simmering. We make Gomtang Yooksoo broth, which has to simmer for at least six hours to bring out the flavor. “Gom” also means bear. Korea’s founding story involves a bear and a tiger. In the logo, you will see the bear and the Franklin Mountains.
Q: What should someone who isn’t so familiar with ramen know in advance?
It can be healthy. We make our ramen by hand and don’t keep it too long. The broth and everything else is made fresh so it is actually quite healthy. I recommend Gom Ramen with spice level one – but level three if you can’t get enough spice.