Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Liar Liar Pants On Fire: Today's Trip To Kyushu Ramen

I am a liar. I told the my management-level peers at work today that I wouldn't go out with them today because I "brought my lunch and had errands to run." *wink, wink* Well, I actually did bring my lunch, so I wasn't telling a total lie. I just felt like going out with my other friends who are way more fun to try out a ramen shop in Van Nuys. And I didn't want to feel obligated to invite them along because frankly, their taste in food sucks and I didn't want to hear anyone bitch if they didn't like it. So I lied, snuck out of the building like a teenager who's been grounded, and putt-putted off to Kyushu Ramen.

And let me tell you, the sins I'd committed today were so worth it. I am sooooo ecstatic to have found a good ramen shop in the San Fernando Valley.

Kyushu Ramen is a clean, no-frills space located in a mini mall in the heart of Van Nuys. I pretty much knew what I wanted before even seeing the menu. I was looking forward to some Kyushu-style ramen, the kind whose broth is made with pork bones and is thick and opaque. I perused the menu anyways, to see what else they had to offer. Several varieties of "regular" ramen, shoyu and miso as well as curry ramen, mabo tofu ramen. Three types of cold noodle dishes. Udon and soba. Your typical Japanese entrees like teriyaki and katsu, plus some other more exciting entrees like liver & chives and mackerel sauted in miso. A handful of appetizers like natto tofu and gyoza. But I was here for the house specialty, the Kyushu Ramen. And for good reasons.

These guys really know how to do tonkotsu broth. The milky opaque broth is hearty and rich with deep pork flavor. A thin glistening layer of pork fat lies on top, adding to its complexity. Each bite of the thick, chewy ramen noodles and oh-so tender roast pork slices is made even more interesting by the spinach, fish cake, seaweed, sesame seeds, boiled egg, bamboo shoots, and pickled ginger swimming in the luscious, salty liquid.

Kyushu Ramen's Kyushu Ramen

I got back to the office scott free. No one even knew. Yeah, maybe it'll catch up to me one day, right? I'll get caught. But if it's for a bowl of Kyushu Ramen, I won't care.

Kyushu Ramen
15355 Sherman Way
Van Nuys, CA 91408
(818) 786-6005


dwg said...

mmm. ramen. good god, it's like the food i never stop craving.

i haven't read the rest of your entries, but i'm guessing you've been to daikokuya. if not, run don't walk.

thanks for stopping by, too. come back and tell your friends.

MEalCentric said...

Just discovered your blog and I love it. I am supposed to go to K-town for Bibimbap but after reading this entry, thinking about getting ramen--hmm--ramen.

elmomonster said...

Awesome review! I gotta remember this place the next time I visit my friend who lives in Northridge, who always complains to me that there aren't any good places to eat around there.

Peeved Michelle said...

Perfect. The husband will love this place. I am so glad to find an LA food blog that features some restaurants in the valley.

Adam said...

Thank you! I just returned from a trip to Japan (several cities) and one of the most memorable meals I had was Kyushu-style jangara ramen at a little place in Tokyo. I didn't know if I'd be able to find the dish here at home in L.A., but now I know just where to go. Now, do you know of anyplace that serves Hiroshima-style cold noodles ("reimen", not ramen) with gekikara chile dipping sauce? Please, oh please!

Anonymous said...

hahaha i used to work over there and honestly this ramen shop is the best you can find in the entire LA area.
now i changed from japanese food to the claim jumper.
damn japanese food is so delicious but they pay you like crap.
poeple in kyushu ramen are all very friendly and if you want a good service, go to eat over there.
they also added some japanese apetizers with the izakaya menu, just ask for it. you ll find stuff like nasu miso, shishamo tempura, garlic green, a giid variety of salads, and nice new deserts recently added to their menu line pie or ice cream tempura.
all right keep in touch...

Anonymous said...

Sneaked, not snuck.

rickmond said...

not a big fan of kyushu ramen. daikokuya is better but check out hakata shin-sen-gumi if you can make it all the way down to gardena. on redondo beach at gramercy. the noodles at hakata are in the authentic northern kyushu style - thinner and firmer. once you've tried it, i think you'll notice what a difference it makes.

Anonymous said...

We used to go almost weekly for our ramen fix! :)

The place was still good, but lacks some of its charm since the hand-drawn menu pictures have left the walls of the restaurant. Gaijin friends would know exactly what-was-what.

Having moved from the neighborhood, we haven't trekked out there in a while. <2006.06.11>


Anonymous said...

It used to be MUCH better! Since the obasan and her hakujin husband sold out to that wannabe Nihonjin Wolfgang Puck, the quality has gone WAY down as well as the portions have shrunk by 50% or more, depending on the dish. I don't like the new Kyushu Ramen.

Pixiepie said...

Just came back from this place.. My carpet guy told me about it.. I can't BELIEVE I never knew about this place!! One thing to note is that unless you are REALLY looking for this joint, you will likely miss it.. While there is a shopping center sign with the restaurant listed that tells you the place is there. However, there is absolutely NO SIGNAGE on the front of the restaurant itself that tells you that this is the place.. The only signage on the building is in JAPANESE!!! But that didn't stop me.. I KNEW the place was there, and I wasn't leaving without my ramen! LOL

Anyway.. It's good to know that I have an alternative in the valley to my beloved Nippon Ramen in Reseda.. My fav place is still Ramen Ya, and when I am down that way I make a point of stopping by to bring some home. Meanwhile, this is a good addition to add to my list of valley locations to satisfy my ramen & pho cravings.