Not a whole lot to report here since my last update except that I finally stumbled on some online information on the trivia of how MOS Burger (both the company and the burger) was inspired by Tommy's in Los Angeles. The Japanese article on Gaisyoku.biz here and the same page in a very quirky automated translation by google here.
Inspired by Tommy's Chili yet concerned that it would not be accepted entirely in Japan due to the spices (and I would also guess its heaviness), MOS founder Mr. Sakurada had started the quest of his burger's meat sauce with a base used for spaghetti pasta that the Japanese were already very familiar with. After countless trial and errors his final version that included ingredients such as Miso was something that retained a "chili image" yet had flavors suitable for Japanese tastes.
(A burger worth waiting for?)
(image: flickr - JM Rocher)
Yes you heard it right! Another satisfying confirmation was that my guess of Miso being used as a hidden ingredient was correct. Actually it was my father that first pointed out his suspicion to me when we ate at MOS during our ritual Sunday walks into town. (I was around 7 or so.)
Decided to revisit Tommy's in Clairemont a few weeks ago as to witness again Mr. Sakurada's inspiration..
By now we know the Chili on a Tommy's only visually resembles the MOS' meat sauce but with fresh eyes the burger's similarities were almost eerie! Both have no lettuce but instead a thick slice of fresh tomato. Additional genes from the Tommy's passed on were the fresh chopped onions and nice mustard spread bite. No pickles on a MOS though. No need for the acidity because they're not dealing with a heavy Chili.
Mr. Sakurada's inspiration of Tommy's went further than the burgers where his witnessing of the seemingly unending demand for them at the original Beverly and Rampart location left him with a life lasting impression. I remember when I visited the locale many years ago myself it seemed no matter how late at night it was, every inch of the iron griddle was always completely occupied with sizzling burger patties.
So you can say I was glad to see the San Diego store receiving a lot of love this day. The place was pretty full. I also witnessed two rugged looking men enter with steel toed shoes and tool belts where one with the Levi's overalls clapped his hands once, looked over to the menu above the cashiers and said.. "IT'S.. TOMMY TIME!" This totally gave me a smile.
I probably know what you're thinking about the photo above.. "That's a lot of ketchup!" Yes I love ketchup (particularly Heinz) but it is as much for the chili as it is for the fries I tell you. And this Chili I noticed was available for take out now.
Somehow this led to some daydreaming while having my meal.... If MOS ever served a Meat Sauce Boat.. *gasp*
How I actually would totally order one! :)
Tommy's Original World Famous, 7415 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, San Diego, CA 92111