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Oh Man! Ramen Off and Running With Encino Lunch Pop-Up

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Though there was a bit of trouble among chefs on day one

Ramen from Oh Man! Ramen
Oh Man! Ramen
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Though lunch has officially started for the long-awaited Oh Man! Ramen in Encino, you shouldn’t expect a regular dinner service any time soon. The restaurant itself is still very much under construction, with an arrival time pegged for sometime in the next month or so.

In the meantime, folks looking for a taste of what’s to come from Luke Reyes’ ramen operation have been heading into Scratch Bar, the sister restaurant next door from partner Phillip Frankland Lee. The menu so far includes everything from a fried chicken sandwich to a couple of bowls of signature ramen, with some pork belly buns and octopus rice bowls thrown in for good measure. The opening lunch menu is below.

Looks like yesterday’s first official day went rather smoothly for Reyes and company, though at one point chef Jacob Kear — he of the Amular Project pop-up who at one point was pegged to come onboard Japanese dining temple Shibumi before that fell apart — stopped by himself and found the menu for the place a little lacking. Like, the literal menu, which was riddled with more than a few early typos that Kear didn’t take kindly to, posting a less-than-nice missive on Facebook about the whole thing that also took shots at chef Luke Reyes himself.

Hey @dinnerbykear, we don't know each other but since you felt the need to air your grievances with @ohmanramen in social media forum, I will respond to you in the like. I am the chef and co owner of oh man! Ramen and I wrote the menu yesterday not Phillip Lee. You had issues with our misspelling of several Japanese words on our menu, such as *edemame, *karrage, etc. Yes, these words were misspelled on our first menu, on our first day of lunch service. While it being our first day open is absolutely zero excuse for such an oversight, I will say that you were not the only person, guest or otherwise, yesterday to notice these misspellings. You were however the only person (who also is apparently a chef, which I'll get to later) to take to social media and call us out, and threaten an ALL CAPS ass whooping for said misspellings, instead of contacting any member of the staff and pointing out your findings. Now, by quickly looking at your social media, I see that you are also a chef. As a chef, I would think you'd be someone who should understand what hard work it is to open a restaurant, even if it is a pop up lunch. I would hope and expect you to get a hold of either chef Phillip or myself who were present cooking or running food during lunch yesterday and inform us of your findings, instead of taking to facebook to bash us And kicking our asses to the social media world first. Also, ill only briefly touch on your racial comments about "white guy cooking ramen", by mentioning Ivan Orkin and his world renowned ramen shops. So now on day 2 of lunch service, we have fixed these misspellings. My team and I will be here continuing to work and learn and trying to give a great experience to our guests. I'll also be sitting here with fingers crossed hoping you show up to hand out that ASS WHOOPING.

A photo posted by luke reyes (@_luke_reyes) on

Naturally Reyes took to Instagram to reply directly, calling out Kear’s nasty use of Facebook instead of contacting any member of staff directly. Reyes also says:

As a chef, I would think you’d be someone who should understand what hard work it is to open a restaurant, even if it is a pop-up lunch

Yikes. Who knows where things will go from here, but Reyes says the misspellings on the menu have been fixed, and he "will be here continuing to work and learn and trying to give a great experience to our guests." So it goes.

Your live lunch look-in at Oh Man! Ramen is running weekdays only at the moment, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. out of the Scratch Bar space, with a full opening in their own space sometime by the end of the year. Just don’t comment on the menu.

Scratch|Bar & Kitchen

16101 Ventura Blvd Ste 255, Encino, CA 91436 (818) 646-6085