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Restaurants & Bars Greater Boston Area

Inaka, Allston

Allstonian | | Aug 21, 2013 06:45 PM

Jenny Ondioline and I finally got around to trying Inaka, a Japanese restaurant that opened in May in the space that used to be Madina Market (72 Brighton Avenue, between Mixx and Shabu-Zen.)

The menu is small - four appetizers, four ramen options, four donburi, a katsu plate, and a curry plate (basically the katsu pate with Japanese curry sauce added.) We shared an order of extremely garlicky gyoza, Jenny Ondioline had the yakibuta ramen, with shoyu broth and a generous portion of roasted pork, and I decided to try the hiyashi chuka, a cold ramen dish.

A number of reviewers on Yelp have complained that the shoyu ramen broth is bland and too salty, but we both thought it was delicious. And I loved the hiyashi chuka. Ramen noodles are served on a plate rather than in a big soup bowl, bathed in a chilled spicy broth/sauce and topped with matchstick-cut pork, tamago, a couple of shell-and-head-on shrimp, seaweed salad, slivers of cucumber, and some corn. It was a refreshing dish on this hot day - definitely something to keep in mind when the dog days hit again next summer, if not sooner.

Service was very friendly, and the waiter asked if it was our first time visiting and made a number of recommendations from the menu. We look forward to visiting again soon - I want to try one of the donburi options, and we both love katsu. A nice addition to the neighborhood.