Ya-Oh-Ya

Day 88:

No not Yeah-Oh-Yeah. Ya-Oh-Ya (ヤ-オ-ヤ). That’s what the locals in Shimo-Kitazawa call the 808 bar I found last month. It’s the perfect place to chill and hang out and…talk about ramen. Uno-san, the owner, is a big ramen fan as well. I mentioned this before, but his dad owns a ramen-ya up the street and his good friend just opened Bigiya in Gakugei-daigaku. Uno-san even came in to eat at Ivan Ramen a few weeks ago after I told him that I worked there. He’s a really laid back Hawaiian-style-guy, just like his lounge.


So we talked and talked about ramen as I leached off his free internet connection and discussed the differences between old style versus new style and all the new crazy trends that make up this so called “ramen boom” that we’re in. And now there apparently is a “new old style” ramen too. I’m not exactly sure what that means, but that’s how Keisuke describes his newest shop in Sumiyoshi that coincidentally opens today.


Anyhow, all this talk was getting me hungry so Uno-san whipped me up a batch of his homemade nachos. It sort of reminded me of home.


After a couple more beers, I decided to stop by his dads ramen shop on my way home. It’s called Taisho and the big Uno doesn’t like to be advertised and hates that his shop is in the ramen database.


He doesn’t mind not being popular. He just loves making ramen for the locals and the occasional passer by who is hungry for a bowl of old-school natsukashii ramen. Hopefully he won’t mind being on this blog.


The shoyu ramen here is not fancy and you won’t find a line out the door or groups of otaku hanging out with their cameras. There’s no hype and no fanfare, but this is what real ramen is (or should I say was).


The current ramen generation may call this bowl plain, but this is the type of ramen I fell in love with as a small child. Sure my ramen cravings have evolved over the years along with the ramen world, but I’ll never forget slurping that first bowl with my mom in some random ramen-ya in Tokyo.


These types of bowls give me the most comfort. A straight blend of chicken stock, pork bones, and vegetables with a little bit of niboshi (sardines) in the tare.


Yeah-Oh-Yeah!

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