Welcome to my ramen dream... Currently being interpreted in Ramen Burger Land... Looking for a good slurp? Email me ! - Keizo

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Koraku - Torrance, CA

2531 Pacific Coast Highway
Torrance, CA 90505
(310) 517-0064
Rolling Hills Plaza

Strange occurrences have been following me around lately and today's lunch was no exception. As I was getting ready to pay for my meal, a random lady stood up and announced that everyone in the restaurant was being placed under citizen's arrest. Uuuuh...okay. (I'll explain some more in a bit.)

A couple ramen-ya's that were overlooked in my recent Ramen Madness in Torrance post just happen to be located right next to each other off of PCH in the Rolling Hills Plaza. One being Koraku, which I visited today, also has locations in Downtown and Sherman Oaks (and possibly a relative near Vegas). The other, as you can see in the picture above, was closed on this day before Thanksgiving.

Mabo Ramen: After a night of rain and a crisp, cool morning, the mood was perfect for ramen. So of course I set out to the mecca to enjoy a nice, traditional Japanese-style Mabo. I often frequent and enjoy a bowl of Mabo at the Sherman Oaks location because it's near one of my clients so I figured the Torrance Koraku would be just as good, if not better. And guess what? It was better! The dense mabo sauce layered atop a shoyu-based ramen immediately fulfulled my craving and handcuffed my chilly soul. Mmmm...ground pork and tofu, what would I do without you?!

The average factory-based noodle coated with Mabo sauce inherently becomes above-average with every slurp. Whoever decided to combine Mabo Tofu with Ramen is a genius and truly one of my idols...hahaha.

Anyway, so back to that crazy person. Her exact words went something like this: "Everybody listen up! You have the right to remain silent! I work for the U.S. Government and I have been observing all of you and I am hereby putting you all under citizen's arrest!" She then went on to ramble for about 2 minutes, saying how none of us had any empathy and that we should all be ashamed of ourselves. And then she left.

I honestly didn't know what she was talking about. And when she first stood up Pulp-Fiction-style, I didn't know whether to be scared or just bust out laughing. My initial thoughts were "s*** were all getting robbed" and I even thought about tackling her as she walked by. There were several families with small children also in the restaurant and you could see the relief on their faces when she walked out the door. It was very, very strange. My only explanation for her rant was possibly because she is some kind of animal rights activist and couldn't find anything on the menu that didn't contain chicken or pork. Nonetheless, I'm glad noone was hurt and that it was just a form of self-expression rather than an act of random violence.


  1. citizen's arrest?! man... nowadays under this economy... more and more unexpected/unexplainable things are happening everyday :-(

  2. I agree. But why arrest people in a ramen-ya?

  3. I only knew of the Koraku in Downtown.. Brings me back some old memories. The ramen wasn't that great but places were slim pickings in those days. I would always order Miso or Stamina because I was able to taste traces of chlorine in their Shoyu, haha. Are they making better ramen now with the increased competition?

    Seems like that crazy lady could use some empathy herself.. Making you all listen to her rant like that!

    Happy Thanksgiving btw!

  4. Funny story! I think the poor ol' lady just need to take her meds. That kind of thing would have freaked me. I'm glad another Koraku had opened up and decided to move down south. In all silliness, I'm probably one of the very few that liked the one in Little Tokyo. I still get flack from that all the time. Can't wait to check out their Mabo ramen.

    Thanks again Keizo for the kind words of encouragement. I really appreciated!

  5. Hi Keizo,

    Great review (how did you forget about this place on our last Torrance Crawl?? (^_~) (not that we could've eaten anymore at that point :P)).

    I'm glad that strange citizen's arrest hoax was just that and nothing more.

  6. keizo you should've scissor kicked her.

  7. @Dennis: What's up! Sadly, the OG Downtown location is still the same. But hey, you gotta give props to a ramen-ya that's been around so long.

    @Pepsi Monster: I agree. She probably ran out. Btw, you're welcome!

    @Exile Kiss: I didn't actually forget. They just never entered my ramen mind...haha.

    @wonton forest: I was watching kung fu panda when I saw your comment come across...hahaha. Good timing! I should have used the Wuxi Finger Hold!!

  8. Wow...I never thought blogging about ramen could be so exciting! Hahaha. I'm glad (?) it was just some crazy lady!

  9. I read this review, and then went to Koraku. I have to say, first, that I lost all the feeling of ceremony I usually wear to eat ramen the instant I walked into a left-over American diner. I was perhaps only halfway enthusiastic as I ordered mabo ramen from my red pleather booth, elbows perched high atop the oversized formica tabletop.

    But, I love ramen. And, I love mabo dofu. So, my girlfriend and I waited patiently for what seemed an eternity - albeit, one made extra painstaking by the Jessica Simpson, et al. playing on the radio.

    Anyway, I'll spare you any further expository descriptions of the scene, and say that the mabo ramen was awful. Boring noodles. Boring soup. Super-heated, by the way, such that my girlfriend, who can literally drink boiling water, could not even drink it for close to 10 mins. The mabo tasted like bad mabo. Like Maruchan Instant Mabo.

    I won't ever be going back to this 'place'. Ramen-ya it is not. I wouldn't be surprised if the guy in back flipping my noodles on the dirty old burger griddle was named Bubba.