Los Angeles, CA 90048
Neighborhood: Mid-City West
(310) 205-0124 Cancel Reservation
Warning: The following post is written by a non-Asian with extensive travels in Japan (about a week). Any ignorance of the ramen history or stereotypes of the Japanese culture should be excused.
The Japanese inspired pop-up concept was running through July 24th. We got a quick reservation before it ended since we don't get much ramen on the west side. Plus, although I enjoy ramen, I do find it to be rather boring. So, the idea of a "Twist" on ramen was pleasantly welcomed. The concept was created by Chef Kazuo Shimamura.
$8 Kale GYOZA - kale vegetarian pot stickers (5)
We went kale over pork gyozas as we wanted the "Twist." Granted, it was the first time I had kale gyozas, it will probably be the last. The kale was just too bland a filling. The crisp texture was the only aspect salvaging the dish.
$11 Spicy Miso Ramen - marinated poached egg, kurobuto pork belly, nori, bamboo shoot, kikurage Tokyo negi (7)
Better than most ramens I've had and I enjoyed the spiciness complemented by the tender p0rk belly and egg.
$14 OX tail Ramen - rich ox tail soup, truffle oil, marinated poached egg (10)
If Animal did Ramen, this is what it would taste like...perfect. The long braised oxtails just added such a sweet richness to the dish.
$18 Foie Gras Ramen - rich master stock consomme soup, chopped chives (2)
If I would have bought this dish on Ebay, I would have filed a claim as the product was not accurately described. I was expecting a rich, luxorious broth, but what arrived was Foie Gras flavored Cup Noodles. Just plain noodles with a piece of foie gras on top.
$0 Petit fours, butter balls (6)
Simple, but good.
Overall, I enjoyed the experience. The pop-up was exactly what it was intended to be, a glimpse into an individual chef's take and vision of their cuisine. A couple missteps along the way, but when it worked, it was well worth it.