After fourteen years, Noboru Muraishi closes Oshima Ramen

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Lori Midson
After fifteen years, Noboru Muraishi closes Oshima Ramen.

In 2004, four years after Oshima Ramen, a Japanese noodle shop, opened on Hampden, then-Westword restaurant critic Jason Sheehan made us all aware of how lucky we were to have Oshima -- part of a chain of ramen noodle shops that started in Japan -- in a city that was still enamored with the french fries at McDonald's. "We're very lucky," he wrote. "As a matter of fact, we're the luckiest people in the whole USA, because this small, unprepossessing and virtually invisible spot squashed into Tiffany Plaza is the only Oshima Ramen in America."

Sheehan, who's now writing about food for Philadelphia magazine, would, if he were still here, be drowning his sorrows in a cheap bottle of whiskey, because Oshima Ramen, where Sheehan claims to have found "religion in the chaisu ramen," has dried up.

See also: Finding My Religion

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Lori Midson
One of the children's books from author and illustrator Noboru Muraishi.
"I've cooked here for fourteen years, and I've never taken a vacation," sighs owner-chef Noboru Muraishi. "I work 95 hours a week, and I do all the shopping, cleaning, cooking; I need to to take a rest."

And yet, because of his lease terms, he's required to have a physical presence at the joint, which is completely bereft of a kitchen or furniture. "Oshima Ramen is gone, but I'm still here because I have to be. My lease doesn't run out until the end of April, and the landlord tells me I have to be here until the last day of April," explains Muraishi, adding that when that time comes, he "plans to sleep all day long," join a health club, split his time between Denver and Las Vegas, and, most important, he says, publish his collection of whimsical children's books, of which he has five, all of them written and illustrated by him.

The space, now little more than a shell with a ripped up floor, is in the "cleaning stages," and while Muraishi reveals that there has been interest from other parties in turning the space into another restaurant, he says that those who have looked at the plot have, for one reason or another, walked away. "I don't know what's going to happen here, but I know that I'm done, and while I'll miss cooking and my customers, some of whom have been regulars for years, it's time for me to do something different. It's time for me to step away from this before my time runs out."

I'm sure I speak for many when I say doumo arigatou gozaimasu, Mr. Muraishi.


Location Info

Oshima Ramen Of America - CLOSED

7800 E. Hampden Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant


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75 comments
blackspeedm3
blackspeedm3

I talked him about it a couple of years ago it just sucks to know it gone...

kfc0
kfc0

Gonna miss this place so much, this guy was amazing, seemed somewhat crazy, but hysterically so <3 he had a great heart and didn't put up with people's shit. I'm dearly going to miss him and his restaurant. 

Jose Montoya
Jose Montoya

Ive eaten so many ramens in my life, if you try to charge me more than 2 soups in return, or .23 cents I ain't falling for that shit. On the other hand I have never eaten here. For reasons already stated.

Mellie Wright
Mellie Wright

Absolutely will. All my friends and I will miss that place terribly, so many wonderful memories there.

Jaimie Carlson
Jaimie Carlson

Axel is this the ramen joint u were talking bout?

Al Suarez
Al Suarez

Sad, even though he probably couldn't have passed a health inspection, that ramen early rivaled Uncle

Eli Chavez
Eli Chavez

No other place in Denver for real Ramen that's not from a bag or package. Sad

Brittany Kern
Brittany Kern

I will. Loved that place. Used to go all the time after school or work. Wish I had known sooner would have gone for a bowl of ramen.

Steve Feigenbaum
Steve Feigenbaum

Best ramen I've ever had.. This is a rare gem in Denver and I will miss it greatly! :-(

Matt Leising
Matt Leising

Never met Oshima, only knew Top and he was ok

Josh Kleine Deters
Josh Kleine Deters

Yes. That place was amazing and surreal. Something out of a movie. the counters may have been sticky, there may have been stacks of newspapers from years ago and the walls have been drawn on by fans over the years but damnit, could that man make some amazing ramen. Sad to see it go.

Tony Johnson
Tony Johnson

Would have if I knew it was there. I find out about all the good restaurants after they close.

June Rodgers
June Rodgers

Omg yes I will if I had known he was closing I would have gone down there One last time!! :( I'm so sad! Now where am I gonna get amazing Ramen? Uncle's sucks ass it's way too American iced and bland.

Owen
Owen

No more authentic bad ramen. So sad.

Phil Joo
Phil Joo

Jon, there's a chance that I might go back to Japan in September. You should go with us and go on a ramen eating adventure. Adding Vanni

Julie Mosley
Julie Mosley

I'm sad. I liked his ramen, Gyoza and his haircut.

Jillian Bridges
Jillian Bridges

Um pho is not ramen god damnit. I'm so sad this place was so authentic and good. Run down but good.

Drew Marshall
Drew Marshall

Whatever, the guy was awesome. Yes he was abrupt but he was also super cool and nice if it wasn't busy. Sorta soup nazi meets the Mr. Miyagi.

Holly Elkins
Holly Elkins

And @David O'Malley this place was opened long before the pho ramen craze.

Holly Elkins
Holly Elkins

Food was good. Place was dirty and not very pleasant people.

Aaron Rosenbluth
Aaron Rosenbluth

And to this David douche who posted above me; that's a stupid fucking comment and you sir, are also a dick.

David O'Malley
David O'Malley

LMAO you liberals and your fucking noodle obsession.

keyrachel
keyrachel

I'm sad about this too...All the memories...

Travis Funk
Travis Funk

Some of the dirtiest places I've ever eaten, have also had the best food. While I only ate here once, I loved how it made me feel like I was in a scene from Blade Runner or Snow Crash.

Mary Cicotello
Mary Cicotello

We ate here once. Food was not too bad, but the place was dirty and cluttered. We never went back.

Kate Cornwell
Kate Cornwell

That guy is an ass. Went to try it out one time and he was rude as hell and it was filthy in there. I've lived in Japan and he wanted to "tell me about how i knew nothing about ramen" because i asked him what kind he had. He said in Japan there is only one kind. BS. Guess he's been gone too long.

TheFabulousMarkT
TheFabulousMarkT topcommenter

What a nice man. Although I will miss his food, I hope he enjoys his free time.

Jeremy Rozman
Jeremy Rozman

He didn't care and let the place go to $hit anyways.

Stan Salazar
Stan Salazar

Would have liked to have hit this place up.

Michael Beckerman
Michael Beckerman

The food here was terrific, but this wan't the cleanest restaurant you have ever eaten in.

Andrew Eikenberg
Andrew Eikenberg

Used to be good but last time I went it was filthy and the food was horrible. I think he just got burned out and gave up on it.

TheFabulousMarkT
TheFabulousMarkT topcommenter

Well, it's like my friends in California say - "Sometimes, the best tasting food comes from the places with the C rating".

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