From pizza to burgers, the 84 Hospitality restaurant group excels at remixing comfort food, as evidenced by the veritable empire of Empire Slice Houses scattered around Oklahoma and the imminent expansion of Burger Punk to the Britton District. Then there’s Gorō Ramen, the Paseo’s Tokyo-tinted homage to Japanese noodle houses, whose enduring popularity has cemented the restaurant as the foremost slurp shop in Oklahoma City. It also helped pave the way for a new style of ramen restaurant in the 405: Remix Ramen, which opened inside the Edmond Railyard at 23 W. First St. in June, offers a savory style distinctly its own.
Following the success of Gorō, 84 Hospitality founder and CEO Rachel Cope said she wanted to try something new and fill a ramen niche in Oklahoma. Describing Gorō as “very chef-driven,” she envisioned Remix as something more fun, fast-casual and poised for duplication and expansion. “It’s sort of like the Empire (Slice House) of ramen,” Cope said. “The base of what we’re doing is very traditional, but we take it and play with it. And when it comes down to it, ramen is just a noodle; it can do anything.”
And the menu proves just that. In addition to some traditional offerings, vegetarian and vegan options and Japanese-style sandos stacked on Martin’s potato rolls (“made famous by Shake Shack,” Cope noted), the menu sports a “remixed” section that exemplifies that noodles-can-do-anything ethos by using ramen as a blank canvas for unexpected ingredients and fusion flavors.
A highlight is the birria ramen, which Cope described as basically birria tacos in a bowl, adding meltingly tender braised short rib, cotija cheese, cilantro and pickled red onions to a heady beef broth. The Thai Fighter, Cope said, is the sleeper favorite, capturing the sensation of pad thai by adding peanut butter to the broth and filling it out with togarashi tofu, Thai chili, lime, cilantro, crushed peanuts and green onion. All the ramens originate with a shio chicken-broth base because, as Cope explained, it conjures a kind of chicken noodle soup nostalgia.
Filling the vacant El Camino space in the Edmond Railyard and outfitting the dining room with poppy colors and quirky fish cake logos, Cope sees her latest ramen venture as an experiment in marketing and a testing ground for potential future locations. Crediting Remix’s chef Brianna Shear, kitchen manager Payton Jons and director of operations Britton Stewart (“without them this is not possible”), Cope said this is just the beginning of Remix Ramen — and, it might be only a matter of time before she has another Empire-like dominion on her hands.