We’re so grateful because our favorite new Twitter friend, The Minty, always invites us out for fabulous SGV fare and this outing was no exception. Despite already being full from the new happy hour menu at New Moon in Montrose, we decided it would be a “good” idea to keep eating and grab some ramen with Minty, her friend Jenny, and our friend Brian. We were a little derailed because my sweet Carina got into her first car accident on the way. I was on the freeway at the same time and walked her and the other car calmly through the process; they were such amateurs. I know the drill all to well, having grown up in LA and being blessed with only princess parking and not the best driving skills. Being the good UGs that we are, we didn’t let a little incident get in the path of our noodles. We arrived at Hakata Ramen Shin-Sen-Gum a bit late, but luckily they hadn’t been seated. We knew this was going to be good because the line was insane.
Once seated, we started talking to our very chatty (and cute) waiter. He made a few suggestions that we went along with, as well as each ordering an entree. We ordered the: gyozas, pork belly and kimchi, fried cheese rolls, fried chicken, veggie appetizer, rice balls, and the ground chicken bowl —-> Those, my friends, were just the starters. We were particularly impressed by the fried chicken and the pork belly and kimchi. They were truly standout appetizers. The chicken was light and battered in my favorite Japanese karaage. The man who fried that baby is a truly gifted man. I kid. Maybe…Either way, I’d recommend trying both.
I ordered the yakisoba, which was excellent! It was accompanied with pickled ginger of course, a nice scoop of mayo. Mayo is such a paradox; I both love it and hate it. Mmm and Ew at the same time. Carina had the Ramen with extra bamboo, which she barely picked at. However, I think her disinterest was more symptomatic of her preoccupation with her car and not the flavors. Minty had the ramen with pickled greens, spinach, bamboo, and extra pork. She raved about the spinach! Jenny opted for the ramen with flavored egg and extra noodles. I was shocked at Jenny’s gluttony. The girl had two helpings of noodles! When one still has broth left adding more noodles just seems logical. Being a true glutton myself, I was impressed.
You will see no out-of-towners here. Although, if you venture into this little place, you’ll be shocked at how crowded it is. Hakata Ramen Shin-Sen-Gum’s patrons are loyal and devoted. They come in, wait an hour to be seated, dine in almost claustrophobic conditions and perspire profusely from the hot breeze of the kitchen; they gladly endure it all for their ramen. The UGs concur.
I’ve always said that the people that have the most fun in LA are the people that are not afraid to drive. Minty is just us like the UG girls – she drives just as far as we do in search for the “perfect” meal. And for the research you do, Minty, our bellies thank you.