Alan Su says he'll use the first day of spring - March 20 - to soft-open Nom Nom Ramen at 20 S. 18th St., filling the corner spot previously occupied by b.b.go.

Su, the son of Chinese restaurateurs, emailed the food press overnight to explain that after sampling great ramen shops from California to New York, "I realized there was nothing like it in Philadelphia. That's when I quit my job as a manager of a successful restaurant group to pursue my dream of opening my very own Hakata-style ramen shop."

That "successful restaurant group," he told me by phone, is Win Signature Restaurants (Azie on Main and Sang Kee Noodle Bowl).

He then worked as a soup maker at Santouka Ramen, the Japanese hit that has eight locations in the United States. He operated the one in Edgewater, N,J., across from Manhattan.

Su says Nom Nom will "draw inspiration" from Santouka, but "it will be its own restaurant."