Wow, the Yubari Melon soft serve near exploded in my mouth (in a safe and delicious manner) with intense perfectly ripe cantaloupe/melon flavors. I'd say well worth the three-bucks spent. It made me curiously wonder if the other Milk flavored ($2.50) would taste like an exploded dairy cow (in a safe and delicious manner). Available in both cone and plastic cup but I usually prefer my soft serve vessel edible. (Available at Costa Mesa and Torrance stores only.)
Got to check out the Mitsuwa Hokkaido Fair
in Costa Mesa today. Usually while I'm out there I go ahead and also make
the extra few miles up to Torrance but a combination of wanting to get
back to SD by 2PM and that an earlier in the week post by Dream On @LA confirming my hunch of Kagetora's showcase Kotteri Shoyu and Kotteri Shio
were both a Tonkotsu meant that it'd be a quick half day trip. (Kagetora's past year Miso Ramen here.)
I'm sure they were good, but I placed my priority on trying
Ezofukuro's Miso Ramen. (Their Butter Shio Tsukemen can be read about here.) As I might've mentioned often on my blog, a
truly great Miso Ramen is practically non-existent here where the only
recommendation I could give in So. Cal. would be Mottainai's in Gardena (though I haven't been back in a while since this visit). But sampling a Miso from a native Hokkaido shop would be good bets.
timed my drive well and arrived five-minutes before they were
serving (11AM sharp). Were only one type of ramen offered and orders
were taken briskly. Permanent Mitsuwa resident Santouka wasn't doing bad
either and of course Miyabi-tei with their value
oriented teishoku sets (particularly the Katsu Curry) were near flying off, carried away by a consistent stream of hungry rice-a-vores.
the first orders started appearing I was happy to see that it was a
medium caramel in color, good glistening of rendered fat on the surface and even
speckles of suspended spices. The pale photos of both the banner and one
shown online I don't think did it justice (suggesting as if it may be a
milder Shiro Miso type). To cut the chase, this was a pretty darn good bowl and a solid representation of what a
Miso Ramen should be and how our shops should try to emulate.
When it comes to Miso Ramen in my opinion hardly anything can compare to Sumire (except of course another Sumire produced shop).
But what was here carried a decently punchy Maillard reacted miso
flavor that was only salty enough to make you want to slurp more the
chewy medium-fat curly Sapporo-style noodles (the bright yellow trait
from some allowed fermentation).
I even appreciated how the vegetables were prepared, what looked a proper wok flamed with lard (I couldn't visually or audibly confirm) and the smaller cuts, especially the use of softer inner heart portion of hakusai Chinese cabbage was a nice touch.
pork chashu was great too, with a thin dark flavor ring and
decently fatty. Fyi, although the obvious origins of the word comes from
the Chinese Char Siu, Japanese Chashu at least ones used in ramen is more often a simmered/stewed product, sometimes braised.
The menma bamboo shoots were anti-trendy in that it's not the large domino logs of recent hipness but instead a classic smaller well marinated variety.
meal was a decent actual single serving portion so the +$10 price
(after tax) didn't seem so steep today. But the infinite loop created by
the savory soup and good noodles meant the inhalation process would be a
quick one. The noodles were long gone when I still had a half bowl of
soup left but I still managed to do a kanshoku. ごちそうさま。。。
Hunting down my Tokachi Pork Bowl I managed to take a few pics around the fair.
White Dorayaki with various sweet fillings...
A "Moo Moo" Dome Cheesecake, too cute!
Lots of premium seafood like the Tarabagani Crab and Ikura Bento. Uni and Ikura version below. I wish I had a bigger stomach! (And wallet?)
Various Fried Fish Cakes and Croquettes galore.
I'll probably pick some of these up at our Mitsuwa SD tomorrow...
Then around the corner I finally found the Tokachi Butadon Ippin
stall. To be honest I was a little bummed to realize that their
showcase was in bento form where last year they were grilling each of Tsukasa's beef tongue in front of the customers. Maybe things were different in Torrance?
I was told all 200 were sold out yesterday and these here were made just prior. So I purchased my attractive, albeit lukewarm container ($8.50 if I
remember right) and headed back on over to the tables. It took me a while to get a seat again but the time helped me digest my ramen some.
piggy shaped sauce container was adorable. I actually asked for
an extra and also purchased a bottle of it sold to the side. I totally admit in always having been a
sucker for cool food packaging.
thinner cuts of pork loin here is grilled with charcoal, supposedly
Binchotan but the grilling really gives the meats an extra tasty flavor.
The bento came with some karashi takana (spicy pickled
mustard greens) and the rice itself was fluffy, perfectly
The sauce was on the sweeter side but not the least cloying and reminded me of some
yakiniku-dare. Not as oily and spicy though and I thought went well with the
lighter pork slices.
for maybe the smaller portion I was super happy that I had two piggy sauce
containers and it was quite tasty otherwise. The Hokkaido fair is on until tomorrow. Until next time.
Mitsuwa Market - Torrance, 21515 Western Avenue, Torrance, CA 90501
Mitsuwa Market - Costa Mesa, 665 Paularino Avenue, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Mitsuwa Market - San Diego, 4240 Kearny Mesa Rd, San Diego, CA 92111