The owners of one of Tacoma’s essential restaurants, Southeast Asian stunner Indo Street Eatery, just opened Moshi Moshi, a ramen-focused Japanese restaurant, next door, at 110 N Tacoma Ave. Buoy Ngov and Yu Nanakornphanom, partners in life and business, originally set April 16 as Moshi Moshi’s opening date, according to The News Tribune, but the restaurant opened early this week, without any fanfare, to test the waters.
Nevertheless, there will be fanfare. The name Moshi Moshi, an informal Japanese greeting, suggests a laidback atmosphere like the one next door, but the menu reflects serious labor, with everything from miso, shoyu and vinegar to tofu and ramen noodles made on-site. The food is a collaboration between Nanakornphanom and Tacoma native Aaron Grissom, a former Top Chef contestant who was arrested in 2014 for domestic violence against his girlfriend.
Regarding Grissom’s arrest history, Nanakornphanom told Eater, “I think we are really working well together, he’s a great guy, he’s nothing like what the internet says. He doesn’t have that temper, he’s creative, that’s my experience with him so far, that’s been great. After working with him and knowing him and hearing his side of the story, I think it’s a misunderstanding.” Grissom told Eater the charges against him were later dropped. Eater has reached out to Grissom’s ex-girlfriend, Kedisha Lee, for comment, and awaits her response.
The restaurant’s website is still mostly unfinished, so there’s no official menu yet, but pork-based tonkotsu broth, with additional flavor from chicken and fish, is the restaurant’s specialty, and the noodles are slightly thicker than average to soak up the rich, milky broth. Alongside the noodle soup, diners can expect further Japanese treats like dumplings (a highlight at Indo next door), yakitori skewers, and chicken karaage, plus cocktails, sake, Japanese whisky, and more. The restaurant has a similarly sleek, modern vibe as Indo, and seats around 60 from noon to midnight daily.
Update: April 11, 2018, 12:30 p.m.
This article was updated to include a comment from Yu Nanakornphanom about working with Aaron Grissom.
Update: April 11, 2018, 5:00 p.m.
This article was updated to include Grissom’s explanation that the charges against him were later dropped.
Correction: May 22, 2018, 3:00 p.m.
This article was edited to reflect that Buoy Ngov doesn’t co-own or -operate additional restaurants owned by her relatives.
- Moshi Moshi [Official website]
- Moshi Moshi [Facebook]
- Tacoma’s First Ramen Restaurant Has Set Its Opening Day for Next Month [News Tribune]
- Despite Arrest, Aaron Grissom Appeared on Premiere of Top Chef’s Last Chance Kitchen [E]
- 24 Essential Tacoma Restaurants [ESEA]
- All Coverage of Moshi Moshi [ESEA]