To my surprise on a Wednesday evening my boyfriend and I lucked out to only a fifteen minute wait to the crowded Ichicoro Ramen. Now that the temperature has dropped below 70 degrees, every Floridian is ready for hot chocolate - and in my case, a steaming bowl of Ramen. During our wait, we sat at the bar with the garage door lifted to enjoy the breeze while we sipped draft beers that pour from taps topped with Sumo wrestlers. I have heard of foodies waiting over an hour for the delicacies that await them in the dining area. Nineties rap music, clanking bowls, chattering of couples and the sizzle of the hibachi grill. The type of loudness that allows couples to have privacy in a crowded room.

Take a Step Away From the Microwave

tea, coffee
James Miranda

We started with an appetizer, which they refer to as “snacks”, of Karaage; a marinated fried chicken, furikake, spicy garlic sauce, which just so happened to be a gluten free delight. Little bite sized fried chicken filled a tapas plate topped with thinly sliced scallions. For one that can’t handle spice, the fried bites pack a punch of their own with a peppery crunch. The spicy garlic sauce opens up your nostrils in a way that Sriracha never could. I found myself bathing each nugget in the pinkish sauce to challenge my tastebuds with the heat. Ichicoro uses the same type of laminated cards that you find at sushi restaurants with little Expo markers, just in case you change your mind once or twice… or five times. But wait, how do we read the menu?! Thankfully, there were translations for ingredients and each server is ready and willing to fill you in on flavors, combinations and what the hell you’re about to put in your body.

Main Course

seafood, fish, egg, meat, ramen
Amy Cho

My boyfriend decided on the Ramen Salad that consists of buckwheat noodle, tomato, grilled corn, avocado, miso-yuzu vinaigrette, pickled tsukemono, edamame. This dish didn’t come with broth, but instead there was a different method that the server coached him through executing. Once the bowl arrives, you break the poached egg and soak the noodles in the yolk creating a silky layer on the actual noodles. I ordered the Tonkotsu bowl filled with pork broth, chase asado (roast pork), men (marinated bamboo shoot), scallion, ajitama (seasoned egg), and mayu. You have an option to add extra ingredients to your bowl. I suggest adding a seasoned egg to yours, no matter which combination you choose. The egg acts as a sponge for the broth and soaks in each flavor. For a beginning ramen eater I would suggest this bowl because it only gets more intricate from here. Ichicoro allows you to play it safe, or be a daredevil. Each dining experience can be a completely different one from the last.


As I slurped down the rest of my broth from the bottom of my bowl, I looked around to find myself surrounded by twenty-somethings with chopsticks entangled in their fingers, young chefs with gauged ears and bandanas to catch the beads of sweat from their foreheads while they work feverishly to pump out countless steaming bowls of ramen. I felt transported into a restaurant below a New York subway station, a rotating door of customers, bus boys that were ghost-like; clearing the table as your last bite hits your lips. Although Ichicoro is mostly filled with a younger crowd, these meals can be appreciated by all. Ichicoro wants their customers to have the full dining experience, with that being said, they do not offer pick-up orders, and no reservation options. You can, however, use the DineTime app to get on the waiting list for your table.

Ichocoro Ramen is located at 5229 North Florida Avenue, Tampa, Florida 33603. Weekday hours are 12pm-4pm, “Snack” which consists of only appetizers from 4pm-5pm, and then dinner hours 5pm-11pm. Weekends are from 11am-4pm brunch, 4pm-5pm snack, dinner is served from 5pm-1am for little night owls in need of a noodle nightcap.