David Chang, widely credited with bringing the Japanese ramen craze stateside when he opened Momofuku Noodle Bar in New York City in 2004 -- showing it's more than just that $0.99 pack you scarfed down in college -- implied in 2014 that the once-hip soup had jumped the shark. But Chang was wrong: the truth is, a good bowl of ramen is never going to go out of style.
NYC may have had a head start on the rest of the country on the Nippon comfort food craze, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a worthy bowl to be found elsewhere... perhaps even in the unlikeliest of places. Say, the dry, dusty Sonoran Desert, for example. Better known for chimichangas, tacos, Sonoran hot dogs, and prickly pear margaritas, the Valley of the Sun is not exactly a bastion of Asian cuisine. But wouldn't you know, there is a scene. Perhaps even more astonishing is the source of the Valley's most popular ramen bowl: a decorated fine dining chef known for haute improvisational tasting menus.