Bowled Over

Oco Time Noodle House in Willits brings their A-game Japanese dish
by Maureen Moore

It’s Time, the sushi and noodle bar in downtown Willits, received a makeover recently, morphing from a drop-in, grab-and-go, do-it-yourself lunch spot to a more refined full-service ramen restaurant. 

“We wanted to do something new and special and fun,” explained Yoshiki and Naoko Sakane, owners of It’s Time Noodle House, and the popular It’s Time and Oco Time in Ukiah. “Ramen is very popular in Japan, and noodle houses in San Francisco and New York do very well. We wanted something fun and special for Willits – and something different than what was available in Ukiah.”

Ukiah will retain the grab and go sushi, the noodle bar, chicken soup and the like, and Willits will be billed as the destination for the new ramen selections. Non-broth and wheat-free options are also available in addition to the traditional choices.

Several dishes are available to choose from including options like Willits Veggie, that has homemade roasted vegetable miso paste with dashi broth and black garlic oil and is topped with avocado, pumpkin, ni-tamago (a marinated boiled egg), radish watermelon, bok choy, beet bean sprout, tomato confit and kaiware daikon sprout. Another includes the Coconut Red Curry Ramen: a coconut red Thai curry broth with cage-free Rocky Jr. chicken wing, crunchy fried ramen noodle, chopped tomato, beet bean sprout, red onion slice, cilantro and lime.

Bowls and salads are also on the menu, including the Wild Tuna Poki Salad including cube-cut Butsu wild-caught fresh tuna with Ocotime poki sauce mix with organic green salad mix, Masago fish eggs, fried tortilla chips, cucumber, kaiware daikon sprout, sesame seed, green onion, carrot and beet. Another offering is the Pork Char Siu Bowl with Salmon Creek farmer-raised Yongen-Buta (pork), prepared with ramen char siu and teriyaki sauce with ni-tamago, Japanese pickles, kinpira burdock root, bok choy, green onion and sesame seeds, over your choice of white rice or organic brown rice.

Side dishes of edamame, shrimp and veggie tempura, miso soup and spicy fish sticks are still available, and the cooler will be stocked daily with a fresh selection of grab-and-go sushi. Special sushi requests can be placed a day in advance for pick-up the following day. 

It’s Time Noodle House is also extending its hours: Monday through Friday from 11 am to 8 pm and Saturday from 5 to 8 pm. They are located at 35 West Commercial Street and can be reached by calling 707-459-2621. See the full menu for all three restaurants online at, or check out the “It’s Time Willits” page on Facebook for the latest updates and specials.