Side Dishes: New Japanese eats in Burlington
In recent years, the trend of Japanese ramen restaurants seemed to be making inroads in every city but Burlington. Until now. Last Friday, HJ House  opened on St. Paul Street. The new spot, which seats 25 people, has no fewer than 16 different bowls filled with noodles, veggies and meats. Don’t even think of Cup Noodles. These steaming pots of flavor use fresh ingredients, ranging from eel to fried chicken with curry.
Owner and chef Honja Jiang prepared sushi for City Market for five years before his contract expired last April. Manager Ada Lin says her boss is happy to strike out on his own and bring little-seen Japanese dishes to Vermont.
Jiang is also preparing standard favorites such as spider rolls and California rolls, which top out at $5.99 and can be made with brown or white rice. Low-carb rolls are wrapped in soybean paper instead of rice and nori, and fruit rolls come filled with strawberry, mango or kiwi, then topped with more of the same.
Lin touts the teriyaki dishes that Jiang makes using a range of proteins, including beef ribs and squid. HJ House serves lunch specials in bento boxes daily from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Look for cold noodles and pork katsu among the 13 choices.