Saturday, December 1, 2012

Ramen Zetton, Costa Mesa - Quick Visit

Happy December! The month is my favorite only next to Septembaa. (Then Octobaa and Novembaa, in that ordaa.)
Today I thought of giving lunching at Ikko another try but found instead only weeks old Ramen Zetton by chance just adjacent to them.

Turned out Ikko wasn't open for lunch on the weekends anyway (どんだけ〜!テイク2) so I sort of double lucked out in a way. My good Plan-B though was checking the bonito fortified Premium Shio at Yamadaya, Costa Mesa a few lights down.

The very gentleman of me I gave my always preferred seat next to a window to the lady that dropped in the same time. (They're a smaller narrow shop that seats maybe 20.)  So to say the least I'm kinda bummed at how my photos turned out lousier cause I really enjoyed their ramen. In any case, counter seated I ordered the Heavy Soy Sauce Ramen ($7.50) which is basically their Shoyu flavored done Kotteri. Ramen Zetton full menu here.

[Zetton (ゼットン) was a formidable foe of Ultraman.]

A lighter, mainly chicken base (as most Shoyu are but not always), with some hints of gyokai marine subtlety in niboshi form (less of bonito). Pretty nice! Been told a little Aji-boshi is also used according to the super cool well-tattooed worker I spoke to.

As it was Kotteri there were a more generous glistening layer of oils on the surface. The soup for a Shoyu could've maybe been stronger in the namesake soy sauce flavor but as for body and umami for these brothy styles I thought it was pretty solid if on the delicate side. Like if they told me this was how Zetton rolls I'd simply make note and be fine with. I look forward in trying the Shio.

Noodles decently springy were yaya-chijire-chubuto, or somewhat wavy - medium thickness. Ever so edging on the thicker side of medium but that's my typical neurotic observations coming out. The single piece pork chashu was pretty tender and moderately fatty, only lightly seasoned with more the actual pork flavors coming through.
The single large sheet of Nori was very appreciated as well as also the very finely cut thin green onions and shiro goma sesame seeds sprinkled about.

It's a nice simple bowl that reminds me of some of the roots (at least in Tokyo) of ramen started by converted soba chefs and shop owners. Maybe on the quiet side for Kotteri even for Shoyu standards but definitely something I can see myself having multiple times in the near future. I like!

Japanese gyozas ($3.95) were decent but I thought could be more crispy on the fried side, more juicy in. (Mottainai's is still my standard for price and quality in the area.) Something that a little fattier pork and/or use of aspic may solve easily. The chive based flavors I thought were on the right track though, at least for my taste.

The Tsukemen here according was a not surprising gyokai tonkotsu but explained made with a stronger wa-dashi.(!) Maybe the Shio can wait after all and I'll be having it next. With extra egg and gyofun dried fish powder pretty please. With that thought I left Zetton with flashing chest beacon. シュワッチ!

Ramen Zetton, 735 Baker St - Unit B, Costa Mesa, CA 92626


K and S said...

ramen season is here for us too!

Cathy Doe said...

This looks like a destination now that we won't be driving to Pasadena anytime soon. It is definitely ramen time! Happy Decembaa to you, too!

Dennis K. said...

Hi Kat, I'm really enjoying the cooler weather as well! I don't recommend the tsukemen here unfortunately but looking forward in trying their Shio next.

Hi Cathy! Costa Mesa is really booming with plenty of shops in The Camp as well. I had a fight of tacos at Taco Asylum the other day and enjoyed it. There's an Umami Burger there as well.

Allen said...

Been there twice now and have to say its my favorite place for ramen in the states. Wish SD had more progressive shops like this. Shio and Tsukemen were very nice!

Dennis K. said...

Hi Allen! Hope you're doing well. I still need to try the shio here. I didn't care for their tsukemen but was wondering if it were an (very) off day, or maybe they had updated it. Did you try the cold version? I tried the tsukemen hot and it needed a lot of work, at least the one I had my visit.
I personally am really into Yamadaya Costa Mesa's chicken and marine based Premium Ramen. Don't care for the atmosphere of the shop itself though.

Allen said...

I had it cold, and thought the noodles were unique with a nice chew! The dip was flavorful but lacked complexity. I think what draws me in is the atmosphere and break from norm. Agree Yamadaya's Shio rocks! Wish it was available at the SD location!!