Editor’s note: This story was last updated on May 20, 2021
The new, non-traditional Japanese ramen spot draws inspiration from both anime and hip-hop.
Before you step foot in the restaurant, a door decal reads “we play explicit music” — can’t say you weren’t warned. There are many small details that speak to the essence of Sosu like the vinyls of anime soundtracks displayed on the wall and custom manga mural.
“When it comes to food and anime, we’re the real deal,” says chef and owner Rocky Jokbengboon. Jokbengboon grew up in Greensboro and has 13 years in the culinary industry under his belt.
Why it matters: Jokbengboon and his partner and co-owner “B” Esthela say that they chose to bring Sosu to Eastway Crossing because they wanted to be able to grow with the development rather than open in a part of town that’s already established.
- Jokbengboon says it was also because “Plaza is too damn expensive.”
What to expect: The 1,450-square-foot space was designed to be an “upscale-casual” version of Jokbengboon’s original Orlando spot, Naroodle. Since it will only be open for dinner, Esthela says she envisions Sosu being a fun date night experience or a spot to take out-of-town friends.
- The menu features innovative dishes like the shuriken gyoza, handmade pork dumplings made into the shape of ninja stars, and the Ichiraku Ramen inspired by Naruto.
- To preserve the ramen’s integrity, Jokbengboon says he won’t offer ramen to-go simply because it’s not the way ramen was intended to be enjoyed.
- Jokbengboon and Esthela also say they eventually want to have a brunch program once they have their footing and things get close to normal again.
The name: The Japanese word “Sosu” loosely translates to sauce in English. Jokbengboon tells me that sauce is at the foundation of almost every dish that comes out of the kitchen. And, when used as a slang term, “sauce” is a style or essence that is long-lasting.
Location: Sosu is located at 3718 Central Avenue, Suite B, right next to the Skrimp Shack.
Here’s a look around: