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Most-Welcome Welcome

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Photo by Deb Lindsey

JINYA Ramen Bar

“Irashai!” calls out the hostess, the bartender and passing waitstaff. That’s the standard drill at JINYA Ramen Bar, which greets each customer with the Japanese word for “welcome.” And we love it. The patrons feel gladly received, and it sets the tone for a good time. The Los Angeles-based chain extends the boisterous reception to guests at all of its restaurants—an idea instituted by founder and CEO Tomonori Takahashi, who wanted to carry on a tradition common in Japan’s eateries and retail establishments. As for the customer response here in Montgomery County, Jonathan Mao, one of the managers at the North Bethesda location, says, “Some people are a little weird about it; they feel like we’re yelling at them. Others will scream it as well.”

910 Prose St. (Pike & Rose), North Bethesda, 301-816-3029, jinya-ramenbar.com

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