Jinya Ramen Express: SPICY MISO TONKOTSU (LA)

Address: 6801 Hollywood Blvd #317, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Website: http://jinya-ramenbar.com

Ramen: Spicy Miso Tonkotsu with Egg & Black Garlic Oil

Price: $12

REVIEW: Choose your broth! Choose your noodle! Choose your topping! If someone told me that there was decent fast food Ramen out there I would have laughed, I did laugh but then they told me it was a Jinya joint and I said “I’m in”. Jinya Ramen Express is exactly how it sounds, your Ramen, their quality, done quickly and I gotta admit, it’s pretty tasty. I went for the Spicy Miso Tonkotsu broth (thick, rich, flavorful), the thin noodles, extra green onion & cilantro (fresh flavors), ground pork (love the texture), corn (my fave), black garlic oil (an extra level of rich flavor) and some additional spice paste (to kick the whole thing up a notch). To top it all off, they do a killer Egg! I was shocked at how well and how quickly it all came together, the multitude of flavors were all great, anchored by a solid multi-leveled, tasty broth. I would highly recommend this Express Ramen bar and I will definitely return next time I am in Hollywood!

Score: rating_3

Jinya Ramen Bar: TONKOTSU BLACK RAMEN

My first ramen experience in Las Vegas was great, the always tasty, the always busy Monta Japanese Noodle House, is a surefire winner! Well, I was back in Vegas and with my one free night I decided to try the newest ramen joint in the city of Sin, Jinya Ramen Bar and I’m glad I did, it was delicious!

Located on Flamingo Road, a few minutes off the fabled Las Vegas strip, Jinya is a standalone building that most likely has a formidable line-up outside of it. Luckily, my buddy Tom and I waited for 25 minutes before we were seated as it was the two of us opposed to the other groups of 4-6 people. The place itself is loud, dark, decorated with a lot of wood, filled with ample seating and sporting a fun, energetic vibe. The menu is robust but Ramen is definitely front and center! I went with the Tonkotsu Black Ramen which comes with “Pork Broth, Pork Chashu, Kikurage, Green Onion, Nori, Garlic Chips, Garlic Oil, Fried Onions and a seasoned Egg”. What separates this place from most, is they serve their ramen with “thin” noodles as opposed to the thicker, more traditional ramen noodle – okay, let’s see what they got!

Visually appealing, smelled like a winner and for me, the thin noodles were an extremely welcome & tasty change. The broth was flavorful and complex with the added richness of that lovely black garlic oil, it really tied the flavors together! On the plus side, the unique addition of the fried onions and garlic chips gave the overall spoonful a nice crunch and hint of heat that was extremely welcome with the creamy, rich broth. All in all, an extremely enjoyable bowl of ramen!

I will definitely go back to Jinya next time I am in Las Vegas, between this place and Monta, there are two great ramen joints in the city and this one is definitely a welcome addition! I would love to indulge in the Tonkotsu Black Ramen again but with such a great menu, there are definitely other bowls to try!

Tokotsu Black Ramen Jinya

Dish: Tokotsu Black Ramen
Location: Jinya Ramen Bar
Address: 4860 W. Flamingo Rd, Las Vegas, Nevada
Price $10.80
Rating: rating_4

Website: http://www.jinya-ramenbar.com

Ippudo: Akamaru Modern Ramen (Tokyo)

Once again I find myself in Tokyo and once again, I leave my Ramen-adventure in the hands of my friend Brad who I have talked, argued and laughed extensively with in regards to all things Ramen. This time we went to the Ebisu district and visited the legendary IPPUDO, which he calls his “benchmark for all other ramens” and his “Goto place when he’s in the area”. Matt, the co-writer of this blog has also been there and raved about it to me repeatedly. How can I argue with these two guys! I have to admit, I was pretty excited to try this place.

IPPUDO is considered one of the forefathers of Tonkotsu Ramen. Their original shop opened decades ago in Fukuoka was originally one of the only places you could go to get the famous Tonkotsu broth, now of course, it is available everywhere. IPPUDO became famous years back when it won a televised National Ramen competition, they originally only had the one Fukuoka shop and now have 50 all over Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, LA and NYC. But this one shop, this little shop in Ebisu is considered to be the “the” shop in Tokyo. Baller!

We had to wait for a table at 10pm, excellent sign. The staff were all super friendly and the cooks gregarious and loud. We were finally seated and handed our menus. Now for this meal, I just let Brad order, I was in his playground and I was not about to throw my weight around, I wanted him to pilot the ship on this adventure.

We were about to indulge in a dish called Akamaru Modern which to Brad is the pinnacle of what IPPUDO has to offer. The description says it’s the original Tonkotsu broth enhanced with special blended miso paste and fragrant garlic oil. Served with thin, straight noodles, pork belly, bean sprouts, black fungus and spring onions. That sounds very good to me!

We started with some bite-size Gyoza that was served with a homemade chili paste, amazing. The Gyoza had a little hit of citrus mixed in with the pork and when you added the subtle heat of the chili sauce, it was a full-flavored win.

Within five minutes, the ramen arrived and I was immediately knocked out with the amazing smell of the dish, it honestly got my mouth watering. I mixed in some fresh garlic, mixed the entire bowl together and tucked in! Whoa, that broth son! THAT BROTH SON! Tonkotsu, miso, garlic oil and fresh garlic mixed together to honestly give me the best tasting broth I have had in a long, long time. It had a rich, thick, vibrant flavor that stayed with me well into the evening, seriously, it is a winner. The pork belly was incredibly tasty and very tender, the veggies were fresh and there was a little dollup of that homemade chili on top too, perfect. Where it fell apart for me, ever so slightly, was with the egg which I found slightly overcooked and the extremely thin noodles that for my liking, honestly did not compliment the rich, textured broth. For me, with thicker noodles, this would have been a near perfect bowl of ramen.

Of all the ramen I’ve tried abroad, this was definitely the strongest bowl I have had since we started the blog. I cannot recommend it enough, IPPUDO is a fantastic bowl of Ramen, I can see why it is Brad’s goto bowl. This is a must for anyone who ever comes to Tokyo, trust me, if you want an absolutely stellar bowl of ramen, this is your place.

 

ippudo pic

 

  • Dish: Akamaru Modern Ramen
  • Extras: Egg
  • Location: Hakata Ippudo
  • Address: 1-3-13 Hiroo, Shibuya-ku, Ebisu, Tokyo
  • Price ¥910
  • Rating: rating_5
  • http://www.ippudo.com/