Fresh off the plane from Japan, I dropped off my suitcase and headed straight for Mitsuwa Market and the 2009 Hokkaido Ramen Fair! Yes, I did say ramen fair cuz who really cares about the other stuff (j/k).
Anyway, Ezo Fukuro at the Costa Mesa location was first up with their Shrimp Butter Shio Ramen and their Shio Tanmen. To put it lightly, I wasn't very impressed. The Shrimp Butter Ramen was basically the Tanmen with 3 pieces of shrimp and a half cube of butter. I also thought the butter neutralized a lot of the flavor from the yasai itame. And the noodles in both were starchy and undercooked. If I had to choose one, I'd stick with the Tanmen.
Ramen Shingen, working out of Torrance, was surprisingly better than I had expected. It was light, yet flavorful and gave my tongue a tingly sensation. Oh wait, that was the MSG. The chashu was the highlight--very moist and delicious. The noodles were once again slightly undercooked but I'm sure it would taste much better if I was in Ishikari.
That's all. Forgive me for not adding much detail. I'm still jet lagged.