15018 Clark Ave.
Hacienda Heights, CA 91745
After a nice morning ride on my motorcycle that worked up an appetite, I thought I’d head on over to Foo Foo Tei to see what all the rave was about. Upon arrival, I wondered in amazement how a ramen-ya could be located in this unusual industrial neighborhood and still remain successful. If it weren’t for some fellow ramen lovers, I may have never known that this place existed. (Thanks Shin!) Crazy as it seems, groups of Asian people began to arrive by the car loads. The line was already 25 people long 20 minutes before opening. Could the ramen really be this good?!
As the door opened I managed to survive the mad dash and make my way to front of the line–after all I was the first person to arrive. To my surprise (maybe because of the name), the waitresses all spoke Japanese and greeted us with the usual “Irrashaimase.” The menu had plenty of variety, but I knew right away what I wanted. The good ‘ole shoyu-ramen and gyoza.
Shoyu-ramen: Okay. Let me take a deep breath. This ramen was…outstanding! The light, crisp, flavorful taste of the soup base was perfect satisfaction, even on a hot day. The noodles, slightly thinner than the norm, had a nice chewy texture that tangoed with my tongue. And for the toppings (egg, naruto, scallions, menma, moyashi, a piece of nori, and two pieces of tender fatty chashu)…they were outstanding as well. Altogether a great blend and well worth the wait. If you’re corny enough, this ramen might even have you screaming foo foo for Foo Foo Tei!
Gyoza: Contrary to what the picture below might show, this is not your boss’ hair piece. So what is it? I’m not sure. Of all my years eating gyoza, I’ve never seen it cooked like this before. If you out there have any ideas, please enlighten me. Nevertheless, it tasted amazing! This strange crust may have hinted a slightly burnt taste, but the actual gyoza was full of juicy, garlicky minced pork. An unusual sight, but a definite recommendation.