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Utah Eats: Experience SLC’s newest ramen shop

Plus: A pop-up arepa bar, ‘dirty’ sodas for a good cause, and new restaurant openings.

(Kolbie Peterson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Koyote's American shoyu ramen is photographed on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024.

This article is reprinted from the Utah Eats newsletter, compiled by Kolbie Peterson, The Salt Lake Tribune’s food and drink reporter. To get the newsletter in your inbox every Wednesday, become a subscriber by going to sltrib.com/newsletters.

Hello, Eaters!

I had a food experience recently that was really special: Koyoté, at 551 W. 400 North in Salt Lake City.

Koyoté is the newest restaurant to open in the west-side Fairpark neighborhood, my corner of town. It’s a sophisticated but homey space that serves ramen and other casual Japanese dishes.

On a recent Saturday night, my dining companion and I started off with a double feature of starters, the karage wings ($9, pictured above) and the house gyoza ($6). According to the menu, the wings are brined and coated with a Japanese potato starch that makes them extra crispy, and I loved that crunch. They came with a sauce made with mayo and honey mustard, and they sparkled with a light dusting of vinegar salt. The gyoza were a treat, dunked in the housemade ponzu sauce.

(Kolbie Peterson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Koyote's karage wings are photographed on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024.

Next, we both ordered the American shoyu ramen ($15, pictured above), a Tokyo-style ramen made with a chicken and pork stock, the menu said. It came with medium-thick noodles, the tenderest smoked brisket I have ever had, Japanese green onions, scallions, blanched spinach and tender bamboo shoots. Don’t worry, I didn’t forget about the soft-boiled marinated egg, whose yolk glowed like a jewel in a treasure chest and melted in my mouth. This bowl of ramen was sensory overload in the best way.

We wrapped up our meal with the chashu-don ($8) — more on that below.

The meal was one hit after another, and we fell upon everything we ordered like starving people.

Know before you go:

Koyoté has been open only since the beginning of February, but word has definitely spread — the evening we went, there was a line of people out the door. If you go for dinner, especially on a weekend night, get there right when they open at 5 p.m. if you don’t want to wait for a table. They don’t take reservations.

You view the menu and place your order yourself by scanning the QR code at the table. You also pay your bill the same way — which might be weird for some people to get used to, but as a plus, you don’t have to wait for a server to run your card when you’re finished.

Live deliciously,

Kolbie

Thanks for joining us at Fisher

We had a great time at Fisher Brewing Tuesday night meeting some of our Utah Eats readers. Thanks to everyone who came out!

Food News

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Myra and Troy Petersen have opened Violet, a new neighborhood restaurant in the Highland Park neighborhood south of Sugar House, where Stratford Proper used to be, pictured Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024.

• New restaurant Violet is in the middle of the quiet Highland Park neighborhood at 1588 E. Stratford Ave., Salt Lake City, just south of Sugar House. And that’s exactly how owners Myra and Troy Petersen (pictured) like it. “We like the mom and pop vibe,” said Myra Petersen, who describes their eclectic menu as “elevated casual.”

Delicius, a Venezuelan food business in Salt Lake City, is offering an arepa bar on Feb. 29 at Spice on 9th Cafe, at 422A W. 900 South, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Attendees will get to make their own arepas, which are cornbread shells filled with savory or sweet ingredients. Tickets are $25 each and can be purchased online.

• Soda company Swig is aiming to raise $70,000 for more than 50 charities through Feb. 29 with its Share the Love fundraiser. You can help organizations like Utah Foster Care and the Homeless Veterans Fellowship by ordering the Dew Gooder drink at Swig, purchasing air fresheners and crew necks, or rounding up your next order at Swig. View a complete list of the charities online.

Openings:

Shwe Letyar Sushi is now open in Woodbine Food Hall at 545 W. 700 South in Salt Lake City’s Granary District. Run by Jadim Lahpai, who’s originally from Burma, the eatery serves traditional Burmese dishes such as glutinous rice pyramids, samosas and fermented tea leaf salad, as well as sushi, according to a news release from Spice Kitchen Incubator.

Huckleberry Grill is a new restaurant at 335 W. 1830 South in Salt Lake City (near the Costco) that focuses on comfort foods from Utah and the Pacific Northwest, including huckleberry pork, funeral potatoes, grilled chicken, smoked tri tip and more.

Booze (and Drink!) News

• ICYMI, the price of liquor, wine and beer could go up in Utah, if a proposal to raise the state’s markup of alcoholic beverages passes the Utah Legislature. That’s one of many proposed amendments to Utah’s liquor code included in a sweeping bill introduced last week.

Dish of the Week

(Kolbie Peterson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Koyote's chashu-don is photographed on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024.

I know the star at Koyoté is the ramen. But this little bowl of rice and pork belly more than held its own when I dined there recently. The chashu-don ($8) is braised pork belly served on premium Japanese rice, drizzled with sweet soy sauce and topped with scallions and sesame seeds. And the dish packed a punch. The pork was so flavorful and fatty and wonderful, and the simple sprinkling of sesame seeds added just the right nutty note.