The only reason this isn’t a five star review is because we have been to larger city ramen and Asian restaurants and, quite frankly, the way the mgt has the staff deliver the news on the tipping policy really gets to me - and my friends and family.
If their food and service were even a little sub par I would give them a one star just for that annoying two minute awkward and unfortunate speech. This is mainly my only gripe - so skip the next paragraph if you want to get to the food.
Please stop this or figure out a way to do it with as much finesse as you do your decor, service, food quality, and presentation.
If the servers must mention this can they do it at the end of the meal ? Or insert the tipping policy on a small card attached to the final bill with a gentle reminder, or in a special envelope and a free sweet treat (like fresh orange slices) or even a special ounce of candy or something unique to the regions you represent on your menu?
An article from Psychology Today will enlighten you on how to insert awkward conversations into a meal and have everyone feeling fine. Your servers don’t look or feel empowered when shooting this news to diners right out of the gate and it’s honestly off-putting. I stopped going to Maru as often just Bc of this. It’s a turn off.
Portions are great- servers very, very knowledgeable about the menu - and willing to help add or subtract things to make your dish the way you like it.
Menu is pretty diverse and meals are filling. You will not go home hungry.
Ramen bowls are good, but not their strong suit - if you have had ramen from ramen shops in a larger city, they lack some depth of flavor, however they are good and presentation is very well done.
Bibimbap is ramped up stir fried rice with the sauces making it special. Again presented beautifully. Recommend the Hot stone bowl - but be careful it’s super hot and stays that way for awhile. It makes the dish better by adding a crunchiness to the rice as it sits while you eat.
The rolls are huge- seriously. The Pikachu roll which is their most popular, filled up my sushi loving daughter and we barely had room to help her finish it. It was excellent and rich.
We were given a choice of complimentary appetizers Bc it was our first time visiting. Nice touch.
Vegetarian Gyoza was good - next time we will order it steamed Bc the wrapper was tough from frying.
The smoked salmon dip was a standout, imo. The lime juice cut the heaviness from the cream cheese and it was not too heavy on the “smoked” from the salmon. Loved the pickled fennel. Very, very good. Would come back just for that.
Seaweed salad from both Ando and Maru is very good. Always enjoy that.
Again, service very, very good. Decor and vibe right on. Food quite good. Drink selections very good.
Rework that tipping policy and you would have us a lot more often.