friday night :: no ian ... no dinner plans ... cold ... what should we eat? at first we were going to get mexican from our usual place, but then an idea hit me. why not try the new(ish) ramen place that rameniac mentioned in his la times article as having some of the best kotteri shoyu ramen around?
so we drove down to gardena around 7pm to the strip mall i've been to quite a few times before (my extended family used to go to sanuki no sato a lot) and sat down at the counter of asa ramen. (i wasn't quick enough to snag the only four-person table; there are about five other two-person tables and i think about eight seats at the counter. if you go early enough there's no wait.)
seeing as i'm on a "diet" and just pledged to my fitness challenge nutrition "leader" that i would cut back on my ramen intake, i opted for the assari (light) shoyu (soy sauce) ramen ($6.50). rupert got the kotteri (rich ... i.e., fatty) shoyu ramen ($6.95) large (+$2.00, i think). we each got the shoyu tamago (marinated shoyu hard-boiled egg) ($1.00) to go with.
mine was good, although i couldn't help but eye rupert's much richer, much bigger meal. but first, let me describe what i slurped:: the regular size bowl is on the smallish side, but it was perfect for me since i'm watching portion sizes (i would say the size is similar to chabuya tokyo noodle bar's). the broth is indeed assari, not as salty or shoyu-ish as i imagined. the noodles are thin and firm, just the way i love them! it comes with a couple of slices of pork, menma (bamboo shoots), and green onions. the added egg was quite good; the shoyu flavor was really deep but the yolk still retained some of its runny-ness, which is the way i like my ramen eggs.
i took a sip (i gotta cut back on my sodium too, so no drinking-to-the-last-drop business for me). i took a slurp. i took another slurp. and it was good. but ... i just could not get the idea of soba out of my head. something about the thinness and the bite to the noodles combined with the broth reminded me of a plain bowl of hot soba noodles. not exactly what i was expecting at a ramen place.
rupert's bowl, on the other hand, had the rich, pork-infused, fatty soup that i usually opt for. i admit i had a sip and slurp from his bowl and it was much better. much more the ramen i had in mind. alas, i will have to save the super-splurge of a big bowl of kotteri shoyu with extra toppings for another day ... or year ... or lifetime.
asa ramen (i've also seen it spelled "ahsah" ramen)
18202 south western avenue
gardena, california 90248
6:00pm~2:00am (closed sundays)