Detroit has a new noodle shop, and it’s debut at the end of 2016 fortunately went way better than Mariah Carey’s end to 2016.

Stopping by the formed Rubbed space at 2015 Michigan Avenue, just down the way from Motor City Wine, you find a clean setup at Ima. There are more communal style tables than before, along with bar-like eating spots along two of the walls.

This is a first look during a soft open, so we’re not going to be too tough. That said, there’s a lot to look forward to about this place.

They’re planning on forgoing the lunch service to open at 5 p.m. most days which might not be a bad idea considering they’re not right in the Central Business District.

ima noodles detroit

The above dish was the tori udon with poultry broth, garlic chicken, soft egg, and celery leaf. This is an accessible dish, meaning if you’ve never done noodles before, give it a shot as an on-ramp.

Now for the chicken citrus golden curry. Not overwhelmingly hot, just enough to bring out some extra flavor. That’s root vegetables in there as well as ginger pickle.

Ima noodle shop

The edamame was … edamame.

Service was organized and quick. The space is tight — they’re really getting every single cover they can fitted into their small storefront. Almost too tight, to be honest.

Pricing was reasonable enough, and it felt worth it when the bill came. Here’s a sample of the short open menu — so your mileage may vary after the official opening.

Would we recommend this place to a friend, based on what we experienced? If they’re into noodle bowls, absolutely. This could also be a clutch place for carryout. Note though that the chef has said in the past they’re nontraditional and “Japanese-influenced.”

You’ll get to check it out for yourself soon enough as they just announced on Facebook that they’re opening for dinner tomorrow (January 3).

P.S. — We often get questions why we don’t have as nice photos as some of the other sites. That’s because for these kinds of pieces we show up unannounced with no coordination, pay for our own meals, and leave. So you get what you get with a cellphone and lighting that’s catch as catch can.

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