Over the winter holidays, I was dragged on a trip to visit my cousins with whom we got along surprisingly well with. You know those obscure cousins you definitely have but have never met before in your life. I was dragged on another trip to see them only a couple weeks later, and overall it was a fun trip. LA is a really weird place for me for a myriad of reasons. It’s also one of the original bastions of ramen in the United States, so of course I was excited to be able to go. If it had been up to me, I definitely would have eaten at least one bowl a day, but alas, I only really had the opportunity to go to one.
Here’s a very special ramen review (it’s the big one) dedicated to the person who has been with me there the most. And also to the same person who happens to donate $5 a month to me on Patreon. Cheers!
What can I say about Marufuku; it’s hands down my favorite ramen place in the city of San Francisco (currently), and the one I take people to when they ask me where to eat ramen. It’s a ramen place I’ve been to so many times, I stopped taking pictures every time (I still have plenty). Nestled in the corner of the Japantown mall, Marufuku is clearly visible from the bridge thanks in part to the ever-present line that hangs off the doorway.
Dedicated to my first patron and my most ardent supporter, Gwen
I’ve been to ramen places up the west coast. You’re not missing a “and down” in that sentence; I haven’t actually eaten ramen in Southern California. Despite that, my friends who live in the Pacific North-West have been gracious enough to take me to places they like. This is one such place, which I was taken to by, funnily enough, Gwen.
But let’s get into it! Ramen Ryoma was great! Even if the experience was somewhat amusingly tempered by the lack of parking and the long-ish wait, both of which were caused by a local anime-fan-focused event directing all the weebs to the local designated weeb spot (here). Like a typhoon sent by god to smite us for our hubris, the absolute storm of weebs walking around almost gave me whiplash. Luckily, we managed to find parking, and, luckily again, it seemed a handful of parties ahead of us abandoned ship to try their fortunes elsewhere. This was not the titanic wait I was braced for.
Oji Ramen sits across the street from the two malls of Japantown, tucked away in the small cluster of ramen shops that have a respectable, steady draw of customers. I was curious because, as far as I can tell, this place opened a couple months ago. Notably, I caught sight of a sign that said “soft opening” while I was on my way to a different place to get a different bowl of ramen before a night of karaoke. I decided to visit about a week ago after work. Well, the story’s a little more complicated but ultimately not that interesting and this isn’t a recipe blog so I have no incentive to dive into a 12-page prologue.