The Native Society: Tomonori Takahashi
Realizing the need for authentic ramen in the United States, successful Tokyo restaurateur Tomonori Takahashi opened JINYA Ramen Bar’s first U.S. location in Studio City, Calif. in 2010. When selecting the name of his establishments, Takahashi gravitated to JINYA as it refers to the historical estate of the samurai and community meeting point. JINYA embodies the ideals of all of Tomonori’s restaurants, intended to be a cozy, neighborhood spot for lively, social gatherings. The brand has since expanded to 29 locations throughout the United States and Canada. Despite its fast growth, JINYA is known for its slow-cooked approach to ramen, made from broths simmered for 10 hours in-house and noodles meticulously aged for three days. The ramen-focused menu features 13 signature bowls with more than 20 toppings, allowing for countless combinations. From its customizable menu to sleek interiors, JINYA provides a modern, approachable take on authentic Japanese dining.
What do you love most about Your City?
I love LA because of the nice weather. It is not humid, unlike Japan, and it has clear sunny blue skies. LA is also one of those cities where I can find all kinds of foods, such as French, Italian and Indonesian. Also, it’s a leading city for healthy meals (Vegan, Vegetarian, etc.), which I love.
Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?
My go-to for breakfast is one of the following: Acai bowl, fruit, or a smoothie. My favorite restaurants for breakfast are Malibu Farm Restaurant and Ubatuba Acai. I love to drink kale juice, which is my family’s favorite.
I also often eat spinach salad – it’s typical in Japan to start the day with a salad.
What are you doing at:
6:00 AM – I let my dogs play in the garden, enjoy an early breakfast, and check emails and social media.
10:00 AM – At this point, I am typically at the office holding different meetings with my staff. Other days, I visit my restaurants to do quality control of our food. I spend a lot of time at different JINYA Ramen Bar locations to ensure each restaurant meets our food standards.
12:00 PM – Favorite Power Lunch spot/meal?
While I’m in the office, I don’t usually eat lunch. If I am out visiting restaurants, I do a food test of different dishes at JINYA Ramen Bar locations.
If I had time for a power lunch, I would choose Nobu Malibu, The Roof on Wilshire, or République.
7:00 PM – It varies a lot – on any given night, I may be hosting business dinners, visiting my restaurants, or eating dinner with my family.
11:00 PM – Reading a good book or watching a movie! Sometimes, because of the time difference, I will hold meetings with staff members at my company in Japan.
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?
I love lemon water, hot water with ginger, or Japanese tea at any hour of the day.
Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?
PINTEREST, Instagram, Facebook
Favorite Instagram account:
I don’t have one – I follow a variety of people and brands for inspiration.
What should everyone try at least once?
Everyone should visit Japan, especially during cherry blossom season (the beginning of April). Of course, I would also like everyone to try JINYA Ramen Bar – specifically the vegan ramen.
Where do you enjoy getting lost?
On the golf course. It gives me time to think, decompress, and focus on the game.