Ma Ma Ramen Latest Flavor on Grand’s Culinary Block

Justin Chen fires up the kitchen at the new Ma Ma Ramen.

By Kevin Collison

Ma Ma Ramen has opened at 1513 Grand, the latest entry in a burgeoning food and drink scene along that one-block stretch of the boulevard.

In fact, the new ramen place is the second restaurant to be opened by Jack Zheng at that address. Six months ago, the Bay Area transplant launched Pokésan Sake Bar & Lounge in the space above Ma Ma Ramen.

Zheng said he moved to Kansas City about 15 years ago to work at a sushi restaurant. He described the 15th and Grand area as being in the heart of downtown.

“I love downtown,” he said. “There are a lot of employees here who want lunch, and like good noodles and ramen.

Ma Ma Ramen and Pokésan Sake Bar & Lounge share an address at 1513 Grand.

“Our ramen feels like it comes from a family kitchen, that’s why it’s called Ma Ma, it stands for mom and being very homey.”

Ma Ma Ramen bowls come with seaweed and boiled egg, and can be customized with a variety of broths, proteins and toppings. A small bowl is $10.95, large $12.95. You can also have it spiced as hot as you want.

“I thought ramen would be popular here because it’s very popular on the East and West Coasts,” Zheng said. “People love it and I wanted to bring it to Kansas City.”

Appetizers include eadmame, takoyaki octopus balls, egg rolls, pork belly bund and spring rolls. There’s also fried rice and Lo Mein.

Hours are Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 10:30 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 9:30 p.m.

Pokésan features Sake Night on Thursdays.

Upstairs at Pokéson, bowls offer a variety of proteins, veggies, sauces and toppings, and prices range from $10.75 for a small bowl, $14.25 medium, and $17.75 for a large. There’s also a full bar and Thursday night is Sake Night.

Hours are Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.; Saturday, noon to 1:30 a.m., and Sunday noon to 9:30 p.m.

Over the past couple years, three other new spots have opened on the east side of Grand from Truman Road to 16th Street creating a mini-dining scene just a block south of the Sprint Center and Power & Light District.

The other new food and/or beverage spots  are SoT, Kobi Q, Songbird Cafe. They join longtime options Cigar Box and Suzy’s Deli.

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