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

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mitsuwa Hokkaido Fair 2009

The Mitsuwa Hokkaido Fair is BACK!! And this time there will be three--YES THREE--ramen's to try! Here is the rundown:

9/10(Thu) - 9/13(Sun) Costa Mesa Store
9/17(Thu) - 9/20(Sun) New Jersey Store
Featuring "Shio Tanmen" & "Ebi Shio Butter Ramen."

Ramen Shingen
9/10(Thu) - 9/13(Sun) Torrance Store
9/17(Thu) - 9/20(Sun) Chicago Store
Featuring “Shio Ramen” from Ishikari, Hokkaido.

As always there will be more than just ramen, including “White Taiyaki” and “Crepes” of MJ Shokudo & "Curry Bread" from Pullman bakery. Check Mitsuwa's website for more details!

And in other ramen news, the San Jose store will soon be getting their very own Santouka. Sweet!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Flavors from the North by Kikusui - 【菊水】北の味めぐり 寒干しラーメン

Kikusui's "Flavors from the North" features 3 kinds of instant ramen from the 3 major ramen cities in Hokkaido: Hakodate Shio, Sapporo Miso, and Asahikawa Shoyu. Yes this is instant ramen, but it's not the average top ramen variety. It's called "Kanboshi" which simply means air-dried. Instead of flash frying the noodles in oil, they are air-dried over a low heat. Supposedly, this method retains the natural flavors of the wheat and more closely resembles the texture of fresh noodles after being boiled.

Hakodate Shio Ramen: The base of the shio ramen is made with pork bones being boiled for a very long time. To keep the soup clean and clear, the fat that floats to the top is constantly removed. I enjoyed the crisp cleanliness of the soup, but it was just too simple. The saltiness reminded me of drinking the ocean.

Sapporo Miso Ramen: Meat, seafood, vegetables, and miso make up the base for this soup. I enjoyed this one the most. It gave that nice, pinchy feeling when it touched my tongue. I only wish I had all the toppings from Sumire to put on top.

Asahikawa Shoyu Ramen: A mix of pork bones and chicken bones give this shoyu ramen its jumpstart. Although it's very light, I enjoyed the depth of the shoyu very much. The noodles were great in each one of these too. I was very impressed.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Original Sapporo Ya - City of Industry, CA

After several months of walking through the doors of my favorite hangout to a familiar greeting, I'll have to admit, it felt weird to walk in and not see Paul behind the counter. But after a few minutes of getting to know the new owners, my sorrow quickly turned to excitement. With roughly 40 years of experience, the new owner began by opening a Sapporo Ya in LA's Little Tokyo then also one in San Francisco's Japan Town. Although the one in Little Tokyo no longer exists, the SF location is still open under different ownership. This new Sapporo Ya serves the 3 basic types of ramen: Shoyu, Shio, & Miso. Surprisingly, they are all really good--light and refreshing with just the right amount of salt. I wouldn't call them spectacular, but I was pleasantly shocked on how they exceeded my expectations. The homemade gyoza was also quite impressive.

There's also much more than just ramen! Teriyaki bowls & plates, Yakisoba, and Sushi Rolls also occupy the menu. Yes, it's located where Wonton Forest used to be. Service may be a bit slow during this grand opening period, but the owner's wife is a delightful person to chat with. And ironically, she's an old acquaintance of my mom. Anyway, go give them a try and let me know what you think!

18230 E. Gale Ave.
City of Industry, CA 91748
(626) 435-0036
M-Th: 11am-3pm; 5:30pm-9pm
F-Sa: 11am-9pm
Sun: 11am-3pm
(FYI: No more public restroom!)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Sake House Ichiza (市座) - Las Vegas, NV

I first heard of Ichiza from edjusted and couldn't resist not trying it before leaving Las Vegas. So as I said my final congrats and bid adieu to the happy couple, I was back to my crazy ramen eating ways that went sort of like this: I walked in, grabbed a seat, and asked the cute Japanese waitress which ramen was the best. Without hesitation she said "Ramen DX!" You gotta love a girl who's confident about her ramen. Anyway, I would have been perfectly fine with talking to the waitress all night, but the ramen was a callin'.

Ichiza Ramen DX: Interesting. Unique. Okay. It wasn't bad. The tangy miso was full of flavor and spice. It eerily reminded me of Saika Ramen from the town of Tenri without the massive amounts of garlic. I only say eerie cuz Tenri still creeps me out. Anyhow, the DX stands for deluxe and it only differs from the regular miso ramen by the big piece of kakuni and half-slice of egg. The kakuni was tender and moist, but I recommend that you split it in half and let it soak in the soup for a few minutes. The center was a bit cold. Overall, I enjoyed the Ichiza Ramen experience. If you ever find me passed out on a casino floor underneath a poker table, please drop me off here. Thanks!

It's located on the West side of the 15 freeway about 10 minutes from the strip. It's an Izakaya so ramen takes second billing here. It's open daily from 5pm to 3am. From now on, I will be going here everytime I'm in LV.

4355 Spring Mountain Rd #205
Las Vegas, NV‎
(702) 367-3151‎
Mon-Sun: 5pm to 3am

Yokohama Kaigenro (横浜海源楼) - Las Vegas, NV

Yokohama Kaigenro claims to have "the best ramen noodles in Las Vegas" and without much competition, they very well may be onto something. On second thought, maybe they are just on something. I've always said that a sushi restaurant serving ramen has do not enter written all over it; shockingly, that same proverb does not apply here (although I can only speak for the ramen). It's definitely not close to being the best I've ever had, but Yokohama Kaigenro's ramen does a decent job of comforting the gambling soul. And yes, even in temperatures surpassing 100°F.

Kaigen Ramen: I asked for their specialty and got this. It's a shoyu based seafood and vegetable ramen that is very similar to an umani ramen without the pork. Shrimp, scallops, napa cabbage, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, and carrots are only some of the toppings included. The soup is a typical shoyu flavor that is thickened by the sauteed toppings. I actually enjoyed it. Although the mediocre noodles brought my msg high back down to Earth.

Down the street from Hard Rock and a block from UNLV, Yokohama Kaigenro is located in what looks to be an old, vacated Japanese strip mall. It's about 5 minutes from the strip and a good place to regroup after (or during) a long night. Hours are unknown so call ahead to check if they're open.

4503 Paradise Rd
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(702) 732-1296