In the summer of 2012, Sarah Gavigan returned to her native Tennessee after almost 20 years in Los Angeles and found that Nashville was ramen-less.
Gavigan lasted two ramen-less years before she decided to dedicate herself to learning the craft of making traditional ramen.
While helping chef Tyler Brown (formerly of Capital Grill) in the Glen Leven Garden one day, she discovered that the Japanese aromatic Shiso grew wild in Middle Tennessee. Surprised, she dug deeper and found that Nashville sits on almost the exact same latitude as Tokyo, yielding many of the same vegetables and similar flavors. Middle Tennessee is renowned for its prized country ham, and heritage pigs meant there were hundreds of local farms able to provide bones, which are necessary to make succulent TN Tonkotsu (pork bone) ramen broth. It all made perfect sense.
After testing recipes with friends, she started doing pop-ups all over town with great success. Finally, in 2014 Gavigan and her husband Brad opened POP Nashville, which housed Otaku South until May 2015 when construction began on OTAKU RAMEN. In December of 2015 OTAKU RAMEN opened in the Gulch neighborhood of Nashville.
Gavigan's menu for the shop is focused on ramen made using traditional techniques taught to her by mentor and Chef, Shigetoshi Nakamura, using the styles of ramen she loves.
Chef Gavigan’s first cookbook, RAMEN OTAKU, which features more than 40 recipes for the ramen-obsessed home cook, will be released by Avery Books on November 13, 2018. Copies of the book are available for pre-order now at Amazon, Books A Million, Barnes & Noble, Hudson Booksellers, IndieBound, Powell’s, Target and Walmart.
1104 DIVISION ST
NASHVILLE TN 37203
HOURS - GULCH
MON-FRI 11-2:30PM, 5-10PM
NOW OPEN MONDAYS
OPEN Christmas Eve LUNCH only
CLOSED Christmas Day
OPEN New Years Eve & New Years Day
604 GALLATIN AVE SUITE 203
NASHVILLE TN 37206
HOURS - EAST
HOW DOES THIS WORK?
Welcome to our Ramen Shop.
IS THIS AUTHENTIC RAMEN?
We like to say this is American Ramen. That means we are making ramen here with ingredients that are familiar and available to us here in the US using Japanese techiques.
HOW TO EAT A BOWL OF RAMEN
This is a solo mission, you and that bowl of ramen. Put down your phone, grab your chopsticks in one hand and your spoon in the other. First take in the aroma, next crush your noodles and don’t forget to SLURP. Lastly, drink your broth. Now relax and smile.
WALK INS ONLY
Ramen shops move fast, so simply add you name to the list and we will have you seated in no time at all.
NO LARGE PARTIES
Parties of 5 or more may not be able to sit together due to the size of the shop and the style of service.
COMPLETED PARTIES ONLY WILL BE SEATED
We move fast, so no worries if your buddy is running a little late, we will seat you when he arrives.
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