perfect simplicity

perfectly simple. perfectly me.

mottainai ramen : the new kid on the block

with 2 comments

this is what happens when you only want to “take a look” at a new ramen shop.

you eat.

and you take pictures with your phone instead.

Mottainai Ramen opened only a couple of weeks ago and is already receiving quite a buzz in the area.  Found in the once bustling Japanese-centric Marukai Plaza, it is nearly hidden from street view. It resides in a dark corner across from Fukagawa.  The location is unfortunate as there is no indication of the restaurant anywhere and I had to walk around the plaza in order to even find the place.  There is ample parking, provided it is not a Sunday when the church across the street tends to use much of the parking lot.

Walking into the place, I was instantly greeted.  The staff is extremely young, energetic and attentive.  I was looked upon by more than one person throughout my meal.  My server didn’t really speak English, so in my very broken Japanese I was able to relay my order.  It’s times like those that I wish I took more from my Japanese school days…

The menu is fairly straightforward with three offerings: shoyu, miso, and tonkotsu.  For an additional $1.50 you can add a small side salad and musubi.  The prerequisite gyoza is also on the menu, however, I felt it was a little much for lunch.

In addition to the regular ramen, you can enhance them with their signature magic “alpha” and “bombs”.  If you like stir fried corn and butter, the alpha is your thing.  The white bomb is essential a ball of garlic-y pork fat and was meant to accompany the tonkotsu ramen. The red bomb is the spicy ball, which would probably be fantastic in the miso.

Shoyu Ramen

For some reason, I tried the shoyu ramen.  It’s not that I don’t like shoyu, I just never tend to order it over other types of ramen.  And, since I’m no shoyu ramen aficionado like Keizo, I really don’t have any frame of reference.  The bowl came out steaming hot and included several slices of chashu, menma, green onions and a piece of nori.  It was wonderfully satisfying, if a bit oily, though I heard this can be altered to your preference.  The chashu was fantastic, flavorful and not at all chewy.  I’d go back just for a couple of pieces of that.

I’m on a mission to go back and try their other two bowls.  This may become my new favorite…..

Mottainai Ramen
1630 West Redondo Beach Boulevard, Suite 9
Gardena, California 90247

Written by liveeatlove

July 13, 2010 at 10:57 am

Posted in Dining Out, Japanese

2 Responses

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  1. omg. new ramen shops are always exciting. next time i’m in town i’ll defintiely hit this place up!


    July 16, 2010 at 1:18 pm

  2. Let’s go this weekend?? I think I’m coming down for a SB run! Umm, not running, but food run 🙂

    Kung Food Panda

    July 28, 2010 at 1:28 am

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