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

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Kurai-san's ramen dream...

Day 1213:

The ramen dream isn't just mine...It's ours.

Cantonmen from Manraiken

And there's no other person that deserves it more than Kurai-san. He'll be opening his own shop soon and came to Bassanova to let me try his ramen.

The first was a pure Shoyu Ramen. I enjoyed it but there was something missing.

It needed just a little more punch.

But the second was a tomato-syrup-infused Shoyu Ramen...

And it was fantastic!!

No lie! I can't wait to try the finished product during his grand-opening. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Ramen monocle...

Day 1212:

Once a year or so I venture out beyond the Bush to Ramen Nakamura.

The Miso Tonkotsu Ramen is what I usually order.

It's got a great miso-kick with plenty of seabura (back fat).

Back at work I tried to make a French Dip tsukemen.

Let's leave that one on the shelf for now while I enjoy some cheesy rice.

Yo!! It's Michael Booth!!!

It's been almost 3 years since we last saw each other, but he finally got to come back to Japan for another assignment! And in his precious spare time he came to interview me for a Monocle.com Radio piece. Look for it in a few weeks!!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Day 1211:

One of my ramen friends recently opened up a new shop in Shinjuku.

Menya Shono Gotsubo (麺や 庄の〜gotsubo〜) is a tsukemen shop with an entirely new concept. Tsukeveggie! (bagna cauda?)

I ordered the Veggie Tsukemen.

Which is a tsukemen that includes a few choice veggies that can also be dipped.

Honestly, I'd rather just dip the noodles.

But I bet this will be copied by many.

Including me. haha. Thanks Shono-san!!

Monday, February 25, 2013

DT digs...

Day 1210:

If you start with a bowl of DT...

Then slurp a couple of these...

And savor several slices of these...

With a little help from pops...

And the creepy crepe lady...

You might be able to dig up a few treasures here and there.

But only if you're lucky...

Sunday, February 24, 2013

New flavors...

Day 1209:

Lately I've been constantly experimenting with different tare's...

And it's beginning to pay off.

Can you imagine a GCS that tastes even better than it does right now?

Saturday, February 23, 2013


Day 1208:

How good does this look?

Asia Society...

I've been asked to write a post of my "top five" ramen shops in America for The Asia Society. So here goes...

If you know me, then you know ramen rules my life. So when I was asked to compile a list of my top 5 ramen shops in the United States, then you know that this was no easy task. In the past six years I've probably slurped more bowls of ramen than any other American, including "a dream ramen journey" throughout Japan, spanning 21 cities and 55 bowls in 28 days, but there's still very much that I need to learn about this freakish noodle dish. I initially moved to Japan to study how to make ramen because there wasn't much I could consider "quality ramen" stateside, but with the "ramen boom" finally crossing the Pacific, there are several shops that deserve recognition. So here goes. In no particular order, being that I've split my time between New York and Los Angeles (when not in Tokyo) for the past year, here is a list of my top 5 ramen shops that I can't do without.

Totto Ramen - New York, NY: When it comes to authenticity, meaning which shop mostly resembles a traditional ramen shop in Japan, Totto definitely comes the closest. From their long lines crowding the minimal sidewalk to their cramped counter encouraging an elbow-to-elbow slurp, Totto brings Tokyo to New York in true ramen fashion. Specializing in a "tori paitan" broth, which just means boiling-the-dickens-out-of-chickens, Totto's ramen is a welcome change to the more dominant tonkotsu (pork broth) ramen that has recently taken America by storm.

Dassara Ramen - Brooklyn, NY: Ramen is a food without boundaries, meaning as long as it contains noodles and soup and tastes good do what the f**k you want! Dassara is the perfect example of a shop that uses this so-called "spirit of ramen" mentality. Their specialty, a ramen stock made with lamb, definitely pushes the boundaries of what "American" ramen should be about. And it tastes f**king good!

Tsujita LA - Los Angeles, CA: Tsukemen. What is tsukemen? If you don't know, then Tsujita LA will get you acquainted with it faster than you can "go Hollywood!" "Tsuke" means touch and with "men" meaning noodles, tsukemen is basically noodles that you touch with soup. Separated at ramen birth, a fattier noodle is traditionally dipped into a thick soup broth that sticks with flavor. The soup is a key player, but with tsukemen the noodles always take the lead. Sun Noodle to be exact.

Foo-Foo Tei - Hacienda Heights, CA: My neighborhood ramen shop. Everyone needs one of these. I might be biased because I spent a whole month slurping every ramen on the menu (31!), but this place is legit. Stuck in the most unlikeliest of locations for any restaurant, hundreds still flock here daily to experience ramen heaven. Best ramen shop in LA? You can determine that on your own, but this is where I directly head whenever I'm back in my hometown.

Shoki Ramen House - Sacramento, CA: A ramen geek who decided to take a chance and open his own shop and share his passion with ramen to whomever had the nerve to slurp. Sound familiar? No this is not a story about me, but it is a reminder that the power of ramen is deep, very deep. Shoki is probably the first ramen shop in America to really bring the passion of ramen to Americans the way the Japanese have been doing for decades. Believe it.


The Aviary - Chicago, IL: In the most unlikeliest of locations, exquisite ramen appears in minimal fashion with the utmost respect of its surrounding gastronomical libations--molecular ramen to be exact. A non-ramen shop that does ramen has been the craze in Tokyo lately and The Aviary represents this craze in America the best. Price should not be a factor when admiring these mini bowls. Just drink, slurp, and get drunk. And enjoy the ramen hangover.

See the actual article here.

Friday, February 22, 2013


Day 1207:

Kappabashi Kitchenware Town...

Every chefs Disneyland...

If you can't find it here, good luck finding it elsewhere.

In nearby Asakusa, there's a ramen shop that's been around since 1950 which I've always wanted to go.

Raishuken (来集軒) is famous. Old school Tokyo nostalgic ramen at its finest.


Shoyu ramen heaven.

And there's nothing wrong with a little a.ji.no.mo.to.

Back to the shopping...

Yeah!! Nabe Robot!!!

And that concludes our visit to Kappabashi.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The release...

Day 1206:


Spicy Shio Ramen from Ryu-chan Yoshikibo

Our film was released...

And don't forget to check out the intro!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Ramen Dreams...

Exactly a year ago, my friend Michael McAteer had an idea to shoot a short film about me and my love of ramen. Over the span of one day, he followed me around and filmed every second of my life. After a few edits this is what he was able to create. THIS amazing film was also selected to World Premiere at The Food Film Festival in New York City where we actually took home the award of 2012 Best Short! A big thanks to everyone that made this happen. Especially my cousin, rapper KM$, who brought everything together with his awesome soundtrack. So sit back, relax, and enjoy Ramen Dreams!! 




Day 1205:

a.k.a. The Bush...

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A mountain of youth...

Day 1204:

Feeling better, there's only one thing to do. Slurp.

Isoji in Yoyogi is a great backup for when I'm craving tsukemen at this hour. Miso Tsukemen (○得つけめん) to be exact.

Ahh it feels good to be without the flu.

Later in the night, I decided to go visit a friend's shop in Saitama--Zuizan (中華蕎麦 瑞山) in Asaka.

Hatsugai-san!!! We sat next to each other at the 2012ラーメン店主忘年会 and became instant friends!

Tokusei Chuukasoba (特製中華そば).


This is good.


I wish I could make ramen like this.

Hatsugai-san arigato!!!

I love life.