Sunday, June 5, 2011

Ramen Mottainai Revisit - My First 'Really Great Value Award'

Dropped in Ramen Mottainai today after a day of shopping in Gardena and Torrance. It's actually my first time visiting since my longer first impression post August of last year. Things looked busy and great and the welcoming calls from the people felt sincere and comforting as ever. One of the chefs manning the high BTU wok for their signature Miso Ramen even gave me a nod as I sat at the counter up front.

I came for the new Gyokai Tonkotsu Tsukemen but discovered it was only served during dinner. Bummer! There was another newer spicy Tonkotsu/Shoyu called the Yokohama Striker on their updated menu as well as a limited time extremely spicy Gekikara cold Tsukemen posted. Unfortunately I wasn't in the mood for spicy today and knowing their Miso was very good it was tempting to order but I ended up with the simpler Shoyu (Tokyo Props).

I did ask for a richer Kotteri this time but I guess there's a limit to how heavy they serve it where you really need to get one of the Garlic White Bombs (a small scoop of flavored lard) to leap it forward to the next level. But if you do like a smooth Assari Shoyu with some niboshi notes, you're in luck. If not, this Shoyu is still a great platform to load up on the goodies.

I had to get their Japanese Gyoza's of course, five for $2.95. They serve them all day now without a limit which is fantastic but while my previous experiences with these were already very good, the new and improved versions were awesome.

Large and plump, super crispy on one side, packed with a flavorful looser porky filling flowing with juices that's just greasy enough. Any signs of waterlogging and easily torn skins that little plagued the otherwise wonderful gyozas were of the past. Delicious, and seriously... what great value! Ramen Mottainai's five-for-under-three-bucks-served-all-day-long-juicy-flavorful-gyozas gets my blog's first blue ribboned trophy Radiused Corner - Really Great Value Award. Next time I just may have to get two plates.

There are lunch combo deals now as well that comes with a small salad and side. Seeing that one of them was a small curry bowl I of course had to get it. (Combo-B, +$3)

I was bracing for an off the shelf generic flavor but dude, the curry was pretty good! An extra thicker style where starchy fruits and vegetables melds into an indistinguishable texture and becomes one with the rue. Satisfyingly rich with a lot of fruity sweetness and a bit of heat. Watch out CoCo-Ichi Torrance?

There was now a bottle of homemade fruit vinegar on each table. Very nice halfway or so through the meal to liven up the flavors once again. It's like magic, and only a little drizzle is all it takes.

I need to somehow replan a visit during dinner to try the tsukemen. Again, bummer!

Ramen Mottainai, 1630 W. Redondo Beach Blvd - Suite 9, Gardena, CA 90247 (in the Gardena Marukai Market complex)


K and S said...

that curry looks good!

kish said...

usually i agree with your reviews, but i have to disagree with this one. :\

the curry isn't even close to coco ichibanya's. coco's has spice, awesome consistency and someo f the best tonkatsu in the south bay.

also, what's with the random white lens flares? hahaha

Dennis K. said...

Hi Kish! How's it going? Mottainai is a ramen-ya so they'll never compete with CoCo-Ichi, it was sort of a joke. I go to RM for ramen not curry. But have you had CoCo-Ichi in Japan? CCI-Torrance falls pretty short as for pure rue is concerned. Never was a big fan of Curry House either.

Anywway, sorry I'm a Leiji Matsumoto fan (Galaxy Express 999) and that's how he used to render steam, or sometimes snow, haha. I'm not sure of your age, but I'm sure you know Daft Punk. Their costumes are inspired by his anime.

Dennis K. said...

Oops, hi Kat! It was pretty good!

- said...

I actually had the Gyokai Tonkotsu Tsukemen the other day. We go to Ramen Mottainai at least 2-3 times a month and always get the miso one but when i saw the new Gyokai Tonkotsu Tsukemen I was so excited and had to try it. It was good but it didnt compete with Nidaime Tsujita's tskumen that they had at the mitsuwa fair. It was really good more heavy on the seafood side but needed some more oil content. Im sure i'm making no sense but yes its good but i think they are tryging to tweak the flavor so I'll give them 2month and try it again!

Anyway, after reading your post, maybe i will try the shoyu one as well!


Dennis K. said...

Hi Anon! Actually I should call you "Hyphen Person" from now haha. ;) Thanks for the update! Funny your description was very close to what I had imagined, I never though it'd compare to Tsujita's but I'm still very curious to try anyway.
I'm not sure how you'll like they're Shoyu, it's pretty calm compared to the rest of their offerings. If I get it next time I'm sure I'll ask for the Shiro Bomb with. And gyozas of course! :)