Noodle Discovery: Marukame Udon

Marukame Udon
2310 Kuhio Ave
Honolulu, HI 96815
Neighborhood: Waikiki
(808) 931-6000


sign kitchen menu

Me? Sucker for fresh noodles? Uh, yea! So, when we stumbled across Marukame Udon and their reputation for fresh udon noodles, it was our first stop off our early flight that landed at 5:30 am. What better way to be welcomed to Honolulu than to have a hearty slurp worthy breakfast of fresh noodles.

inside menu
tray
tempura options two set lunches close up of noodles

Marukame is a cafeteria style restaurant, so you grab a tray and they take your order. Then you slide over to the tempura section. Boy was it difficult not to pick one of each offering. Offering a number of different options for noodles, hot or cold, hubby went with bukkake style and I went with ontama bukkake style udon. In other words, we had the same thing, but mine had a nice soft boiled egg with glorious golden oozy yolk. The broth was just enough to flavor the noodles and the crunchy tempura flakes and delicately chopped onions took it to another level. Tempura fried chicken was juicy and crunchy, and I like how each tempura option had a slightly different texture batter, though all delicate, super crunchy and did not fall off of its substrate.

Conclusion: I declare this to be a routine stop whenever in Honolulu!

Sora Ramen

Sora Ramen
4490 Spring Mountain Rd
Las Vegas, NV 89102
(702) 685-1011

I am happy that there is another ramen option other than the more busy Monta Ramen in the Chinatown area. I’ve been a couple times and the broth isn’t as intense as Monta Ramen. The noodles seem thicker, which is good for me because I like thick and chewy noodles. The chashu is just as tasty and fatty-licious.

Would you say I like Sora Ramen more? I would just say it’s different. Like comparing apples and oranges and like comparing ramen from different areas in Japan.

Conclusion: Delicious Ramen. Give it a try.

Ramen

Slurp slurp noodles

I-Naba
3210 S Decatur Blvd Ste 104
Las Vegas, NV 89102
(702) 220-6060

Finally, we have a restaurant that specializes in cold soba and udon. Hooray for Vegas. Being the noodle whore that I am, I had high expectations from tasting all the delicious noodle restaurants in Torrance, CA.

I-Naba’s cold soba and cold udon noodles brought just the right amount of chewiness. The mild dipping sauce was the perfect compliment to warm Las Vegas weather.

Conclusion: Looking to slurp up refreshing cold noodles? Try I-Naba

Vegetable Ten Zaru Udon Stuffed Calamari Ten Zaru soba Inaba menu 1 Inaba menu 2

Ramen Nazi

Ramen Nakamura
2141 Kalakaua Ave # 1
Honolulu, HI 96815-2320
(808) 922-7960

Ramen Nakamura was rumored to have lines out the door, but luckily we beat the lunchtime rush and got in just in time for…. Dun dun dun. Ox tail ramen!! The experience here with the server of which i will call the ramen nazi was fun. First we had a language barrier with the lady. We dont speak japanese. She doesnt speak english well. We ask about substitutions on fried rice and were given a firm No. We asked for a extra bowl and thrust a fork. When our oxtail ramen came, the dipping sauce for the oxtail was also firmly recommended. I really don’t mind being told how to eat a particular food from the person serving it who knows best, so I happily took ramen nazi’s advice. I’ve never had Ox tail ramen before but I found the light and clear broth with hints of beefy goodness quite enjoyable. The oxtail dipping sauce as recommended by ramen Nazi was tangy and tasty a la some ponzu sauce. Funny thing though, My friend Jana next to me ordered the same oxtail ramen, but her broth was decidedly more salty than mine. Doesnt it get ladled from the same pot?? My fiance ordered the Mini hakata ramen + Fried rice+ gyoza combo. The hakata ramen was a creamier soup base with some tomato flavor. It was also light and delicious. However, The fried rice and gyoza were disappointments. The fried rice barely looked fried and not like the glistening and hot masterpieces that come out of other kitchens. The gyoza was more on the dry side.

Oxtail Ramen by cravingsofafatgirl Fried Rice by cravingsofafatgirl Hakata Ramen by cravingsofafatgirl Oxtail Dipping Sauce by cravingsofafatgirl

Conclusion: good for ramen. Not full beeps due to inconsistency on broth and disappointing fried rice and gyoza. Listen to ramen Nazi! 3/5 beeps.

Ramen Dojo

Ramen Dojo
805 South B Street
San Mateo, CA 94401
(650) 401-6568

Brother had another win this weekend! So the story goes that the famous Santa ramen moved from this location and Dojo ramen moves in. Santa Ramen’s chef stayed and therefore, the quality of delicious ramen stayed.

This was perfect! According to my brother who ONLY eats ramen during his works trips to Osaka and Tokyo, “This is the closest ramen to Japan that I have found.” Both brother and I chose the garlic and pork flavored ramen, but I had regular spicy and added bamboo shoots while he had NO SPICY and no additions. I was in heaven with my first bite to the last. The soup was perfectly robust in flavor and not too salty and just “creamy” enough. The noodles were perfectly cooked to and al dente bounce and chew. I love all the extra regular bonuses like the big leaf of red lettuce, the quail egg with a slightly runny yolk, the crunchy bits of fungus, the chicken gravy that consisted of finely chopped bits of chicken and mushroom, and finally, my addition of bamboo shoots was a great choice! They had a pickled tangy flavor. The cold temperature and tangy flavor of the bamboos slices were a perfect balance to the hot noodles and comforting soup. I slurped everything up, but unfortunately my stomach protested me slurping down the last of the soup. Oh disappointing stomach….

Garlic and Pork Flavor Ramen

Conclusion: BOmb ramen! 5/5 beeptastic. (Totally overshadowed my visit to Monta Ramen in Las Vegas just two days ago. Monta Ramen does not have as many standard goodies and the chefs there prefer to make their soup base more on the salty side.)

Who Reins Supreme?

Monta Ramen
5030 Spring Mountain Rd, Ste 6
Las Vegas, NV 89146

Who reins supreme in ramen in Vegas? Monta Ramen! I’ve been dreaming about a fantastic ramen-ya in Vegas for years ever since trying greats like Daikokuya in LA. Finally, the time has come and we can have a legit ramen-ya in Las Vegas.

The place is in a small suite that is simply and tastefully decorated, and I think that is reflected in its menu where it is also simple. They only concentrate on a ramen and a few side dishes. To me, I think that is a sign of a great restaurant.

Breaking it down =)
1. Tonkotsu Ramen – True to its description, the soup was hearty, full flavored porky fatty goodness! The chashu was not for the fatty-faint of heart. These fatty bad boys had a flavorful full fat ring around the slice. I also think the takenoko (bamboo shoots) and kikurage (black fungus) added a nice contrast of crunch and earthy flavors. I agree with other yelpers that the noodle is good, but I would prefer a more al dente touch. Regardless, I slurped up the entire bowl of noodles like a professional Japanese business man. The. Entire. Bowl. Slurp!
2. Gyoza – Nothing too fantastic. I think half of them lacked the critical yummy juice factor because the skin had popped when frying them.

"Tonkotsu" Ramen by cravingsofafatgirl Close up of noodles by cravingsofafatgirl Gyoza by cravingsofafatgirl

Conclusion: Bomb-tastic hole in the wall ramen-ya in Vegas. Just based on ramen alone = 5 beeperoos!

07/24/2010 – we have tried the miso ramen, tonkotsu ramen and the shoyu ramen. all are tasty, but i absolutely love the thicker ramen that they put in the miso and shoyu ramen instead of the thinner stuff in the tonkostu. tasty!

Ramen California

24231 Crenshaw Blvd, Ste C
Torrance, CA 90505
(310) 530-2749
www.ramencalifornia.net

Hello, LA Times Food Section featured restaurant!!! Thanks, Patty, for the suggestion!
1. Man Tou, toasted with sea salt, rosemary and butter – simple and elegant. Who would of thought to pair a rice bun with rosemary? Brilliant, though I wouldn’t pay for it…. good thing it was free
2. White Truffled Breadsticks with Parmesan Cheese – This was way tasty probably because truffle makes anything uber tasty. Again, I wouldn’t pay for it because I think we can make it.
3. Mushroom Saute Zegovia style – tasted like mushrooms sauteed in butter. Good, BUT you guessed it, I wouldn’t pay for it…
4. Mini Grilled Chicken bowl – grilled teriyaki chicken. Not super strong in teriyaki taste and good size mini bowl to pair with the noodles.
5. Californian Ramen – Lots of different fresh veggies with a good crunch with fresh organic ramen noodles.
6. Niboshi Ramen – Classic Ramen with Fish + Chicken Broth. Nice.
7. Ajitama Ramen – Classic chicken broth ramen with a half boiled egg. Hello, yolky goodness!
8. Reggiano Tofu Ramen – very fragrant tofu that was indeed cheese like. We shared a small size and that was good idea. Tasty but too strong for a full bowl of truffle oil and reggiano tofu.

IMG_0878 by cravingsofafatgirl White Truffled Breadsticks with Parmesan Cheese by cravingsofafatgirl mushroom saute zegovia style by cravingsofafatgirl Mini Grilled Chicken Bowl by cravingsofafatgirl Californian Ramen by cravingsofafatgirl Niboshi Ramen by cravingsofafatgirl Ajitama Ramen by cravingsofafatgirl Ajitama Ramen by cravingsofafatgirl Reggiano Cheese Tofu Ramen by cravingsofafatgirl Reggiano Cheese Tofu by cravingsofafatgirl
Conclusion: Frou Frou twist on classic Japanese Ramen. I like it. Just don’t get the sides we ordered; it’s like ordering a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in a restaurant.