During another of my weekday OC errands thought I'd try Ikko but without luck. Their kitchen was torn out and restaurant under renovation. どんだけ〜。。。
time to waste Plan-B was a semi-reluctant Kohryu Ramen being just a
block or so away on the same street. Most of my Kohryu visits were
pre-blogging days and before the new management. With the new owners you
hear some say that they've improved, while others a disapproval that they've
not been the same. Sounds to me like an inconsistency issue but
one of my visits that I did manage to document was in 2010, a maamaa~
(まあまあ) average depending-who-you-ask miso ramen that had the typical mild miso flavor you find all over So. Cal.
Good news is the prices on the menu
didn't seem to have changed in two years. Choices run a full gamut from
Garlicky to Spicy, a Veggie, Wonton, Chanpon, your basic Shoyu, Shio
and Miso, a loaded house ramen, and even a couple idiosyncratic
offerings like the Shacho (boss) ramen. I'd avoid the tsukemen here but
the non-ramen dishes like the Mabo-don and Katsu-don may be up my Asian Dude Food alley (that sounds kinda funny, haha) though I've yet to try.
I went for the Koi Ramen ($8), koi - another word for rich.
was pretty ok. I can't praise it but it did manage to hit the spot somewhat the
day. The soup tasted your typical pork/chicken/veggie base but
was cloudy in a seeming intentional way, however the flavors very
fuzzy with no focal point. Kohryu has a thing with fried onions which if as
a distraction tactic I have to admit seems to work, though
it's not prepared particularly with care, often bitter rather
than being sweet and smoky. I also often find the yolk in the egg a bit off
tasting but I think it has something to do with their recipe for the
marinade flavoring since my experiences are almost too consistent.
a pork chashu in there that is the more leaner and meaty old school
style. The menma bamboo shoot is fair. The biggest surprise the day was
the thicker-side chijire crinkled noodles which seemed a flatter
hirauchi and rather rare. Actually reminded me of some used in Okinawa Soba but this was much chewier in style for a ramen.
4-pc Japanese gyoza you can tack on as a combo for an extra two-bucks.
The small han-chahan fried rice I had to pay an extra $3.
filling of the gyoza is more chive based which I happen to enjoy though
it could be juicier and skosh meatier. The skins used also seem more resilient than most which is nice in that they don't fall apart like
many. The fried rice as with the ramen was blurry in flavors and
taste. Decently fluffy though.
place can get pretty busy so my visit during the later off peak hour was a good
thing. Otherwise I may have contemplated dropping by the door over to
try out a Teishoku set. While this post may make me seem indifferent to
Kohryu, truth be told I'm actually a little jealous of Costa Mesa for
having them. They do Japanese junk food decently that's priced right and in an
unpretentious casual setting that reminds me of spots I'd visit in High
School as a teen. And In my full non-foodie admittal, on most days
that's still usually what I'm in the mood for for lunch, haha. ;)
Kohryu Ramen, 891 Baker St (Ste B-21), Costa Mesa, CA 92626