If you’re a true fan of ramen noodles you’ve probably read the comic “Let’s Make Ramen!: A Comic Book Cookbook” and maybe you’ve dressed up as a big giant “Cup Noodles” for Halloween carrying a large fork and silver aluminum foil packet of seasoning, but if you’re really a true fan you’ve definitely seen the Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen eat ramen raw, right out of the box, when starring in the movie “Arctic,” where his character survives a plane crash in cold arctic weather conditions, right? No? You know nothing about what we just mentioned yet you still persist that you are a huge fan of the noodle known as ramen? Well, maybe you’ve at least heard of Chimera Pacific Rim Restaurant.
Chimera is a restaurant and bar off Pearl St. (2014 10th St.) down in Boulder, Colorado, where there, they are passionate about cuisine from the Pacific Rim and serve up a mean ramen bowl to boot.
The waitress told me the ramen and bao buns are handmade fresh every day. I tried the “Chimera” ramen bowl for $14. The corn made the dish sweet and the sprouts tasted wholesome. The broth was rich and the seaweed looked like those packaged wafers you buy at Natural Grocers, just a couple blocks east of Pearl. Several pieces of pork lay near the surface of the bowl and the ramen noodles and the pork were both soft to the bite, not chewy.
Open Face Bao Buns
Chimera Pacific Rim Restaurant serves their pork buns open, faceup, then folded over like a taco. After the meal, I ordered the “Dessert Bao” for $7 dollars. It was a fried bao bun covered in powdered sugar, some red bean chocolate mousse, and green tea cream. The green tea cream looked like a mochi (green tea ice cream pod) cut in two and the red bean chocolate mousse I shoved into the folded over powdery fried bao bun, with the tiny fork they gave me, and it melted because the bun was so very hot, but delish!
During dinner, their menu is “Ramen” and “Big Eats” and honestly, everything sounded good! If you want lobster with your ramen, go ahead for only $25 or maybe you want the Bulgogi Korean Bar BBQ for $24; pear soy-marinated rib-eye thinly sliced, lettuce and sesame leaf wrap, rice, seaweed salad, kimchi, shishito pepper and then add buttered poach lobster to this order for an extra $15 to make it a surf and turf! That’ll do ya!
A great appetizer was the Mala Wings. Five of them came stacked up on a small plate. The wings are rubbed with a Szechuan peppercorn dry rub and come with a lemon wedge on the side. You should know these wings come cheaper during their happy hour.
The inside of Chimera was nicely airconditioned on this ninety-five degrees day in August. Inside they have a full bar and large light fixture chandeliers that look like abstract art-styled pinecones lining the ceiling. The tables near the windows sport traditional Japanese wooden “low stools” having no backing. The walls resemble traditional Japanese architecture; a shoji, which is a room divider of translucent paper over a frame of wood.
The Outside Patio
Towards dinner time you can find customers slurping down bowls of ramen in their outdoor patio sitting on high bar stools facing the street. These people aren’t shy about eating their ramen bowl the right way at Chimera Pacific Cuisine and I was no different. I held the bowl in my hand and shoveled the noodles into my mouth with chopsticks.
I and others had problems finding the door. Chimera Pacific Rim Restaurant is crammed between the eateries Jungle and Zoe Zoe Ma and they have more than one door, but one of those doors is locked, which will make you look foolish as you turn and look for the entrance. I watched two big parties of people leave because they thought the restaurant was closed. Now, I’m no Gordon Ramsey, but I think it would behoove them to hang the menu by the open door instead of their locked one just to make it more inviting for people to come on in!
In Greek mythology, the word “chimera” means a she-monster with a lion’s head, a goat’s body, and a serpent’s tail, that breathes fire, but here in Boulder land we now know it’s just a restaurant off Pearl.
What else is going down at Chimera Pacific Rim Restaurant?
- Gluten-free noodles and food options available
- Happy hour is 4-6pm with discounts off appetizers (little eats), wine, cocktails, and beer
- Try the pork belly bao, the veggie bao, and soft shell crab bao all during happy hour
- Two styles of seating outside (stool or chair) and three seating styles inside
- Full bar with a list of Japanese Label whiskeys and sake.
- Can’t decide? Then get a whiskey flight of 1 oz pours for $35
- Don’t forget to order edamame
Go to their website to see their dinner, lunch and their drink menus and to make reservations.
Be sure to tag a friend who loves ramen. Happy Eating!