Tonight, Joshua Martinez officially changed his Twitter handle from @TheModular to @GoroNGun, reflecting his newest downtown venture: a ramen shop opening soon on Main Street.
But the Twitter update was only the latest sign that Goro & Gun is gearing up to open its doors shortly.
There are also the photos that Martinez has been posting of the ramen noodles made by culinary team David Coffman and Matt Wommack.
"First run of the noodles out of extruder," wrote Martinez. "We are not kidding when we say we are getting close."
And then there's the news from Martinez himself that a front of house team has finally been assembled: Mikey Nguyen of Uchi -- who formerly worked with Martinez at Kata Robata -- will be manning operations out front, while Alex Gregg will be the bar manager. Gregg was most recently the bar manager at The Pass & Provisions, and both he and Nguyen are well-known within the food community as creative and passionate team players.
"Mikey told me, 'Ramen is too good to pass up,'" said Martinez with a laugh, as he described Nguyen's decision to leave the well-respected Uchi for an up-and-coming ramen shop in the transitional downtown neighborhood.
Gregg is "getting really aggressive with what we're going to do behind the bar," said Martinez, and the pair aim to strongly differentiate Goro & Gun's bar program from the one at Justin Burrow's adjoining Bad News Bar. Burrow plans to open Bad News Bar (as it's tentatively being called) shortly after Goro & Gun.
What Martinez is really excited about, however, is still the ramen.
"We've been running noodle tests," he said, "and they're perfect. On point perfect." Martinez recruited fellow Azuma Group alum Jason Hauck -- once the executive chef at Soma Sushi, a sister restaurant to Kata Robata and the Azuma Sushi restaurants around town -- to help him perfect the recipe.
"Jason hand-pulled his own noodles [at Soma]," noted Martinez, who discovered from Hauck that the ideal ramen recipe includes a few very specific ingredients. Among them: Sir Lancelot high-gluten flour, Mountain Valley Spring Water and "a hint of citric acid."
Martinez also dropped another hint: Batanga, the neighboring tapas restaurant on the corner of Travis and Congress, will be opening soon as well. The little pocket of downtown near Market Square Park has never looked brighter.
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