Last week, I paid my first visit to Ton-Ichi. The ambiance immediately enthralled me. Paper lanterns line the ceiling, and a large projector playing an anime show covers the wall across from the seating area. A faux cherry blossom tree cascades over the ramen restaurant's entrance. Its impressive set-up contributes to the restaurant's grandeur, making dining-in all the more pleasant.

Isabelle May

If you’re anything like me, and get impatient waiting for the waiter to bring your check at a sit-down restaurant, then Ton-Ichi offers the ideal dining experience. When you’re seated, you order and pay ahead by scanning the QR code taped to each table. If I’m in a rush but still want a quick bite to eat, Ton-Ichi is a viable option. It took only 5-10 minutes for the servers to bring out my dish after I sent in my order.

In my opinion, the food itself did not supersede other Evanston ramen spots, but it definitely didn’t miss. In addition to large portions and an expansive menu, you can customize your own bowl. I ordered their Miso Ramen and was satisfied by the volume of included toppings. Thick noodles occupy the majority of the bowl – I was slightly dissatisfied by the ratio between noodles and protein (chicken, eggs, etc.) because the noodles dominated the dish and overwhelmed me.

Isabelle May

I also sampled several appetizers and discovered that Ton-Ichi offers more than high quality ramen. They have many fried chicken dishes and classic appetizers, like edamame and gyoza. I was more impressed by the menu’s variety than the taste of the dishes themselves. However, I was not at all disappointed by my meal either.

Ton-Ichi is a necessary stop for Northwestern students. One thing that sets it apart from other ramen-style Evanston restaurants is its hours. Ton-Ichi is open until 11 p.m. on weeknights and 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, distinguishing itself as one of the only late-night dining options in the area. For this reason, I think Ton-Ichi should be recognized within the Evanston dining scene a little more.

With good food and an even better atmosphere, dining at Ton-Ichi provides a different vibe than other restaurants in the area. Whether or not you’re a Japanese food fanatic, Northwestern students must stop by Ton-Ichi simply for the immersive experience.