Making the mos of it…

Day 383:

It’s been awhile since I had a Mos burger. Today, that needed to change.

Free Maccha Milk caramel corn chips! Sweet!

There’s nothing like a hot, steamy bowl of noodles.

It was a little slow today, so I decided to make the most out of our chicken leftovers, the scraps that we can’t use in the green curry. It’s the Bassanova Kiss.

If only you could smell this.

And taste this.

Now I’m hungry again.

A ramen society…

Day 382:

I’ve told you this before, but I often wake up during that time of day where every ramen shop is closed. So today, I found a local Chinese Restaurant that actually stays open all day. Sure they may not have good ramen, but every shop is worth a try at least once, right?

Mabo ramen at Chinese Restaurants is always the first thing I try.

This one was a little too sweet and the noodles were terrible, but it did have a lot of veggies. At least now I can say I tried it.

Coming soon to a blog near you… Boom: International Ramen Superstar!

After work it was time to enjoy some of the goodies Dragon had given me for my birthday. Thanks Dragon!!

Awamori Shochu and dried fish–the perfect combination.

Remember Michael from Fast Society? Well, I’d like to take the time to congratulate him and his wife on their wedding a couple weeks ago. Congrats!!

And did you get a look at the grooms cake?! Noodles!!! That is so cool.

I’m sure the two of you will have a lifetime of happiness. Honeymoon in Tokyo?

Spicy negi…

Day 381:

I woke up, got ready for work, then realized I went home by taxi last night and left my bike at Honancho Station. Dammit! haha. Oh well, time to say hi to my friends at Tenhou.

Having eaten most of the ramen on the menu, it was time to try the Spicy Negi Ramen for the first time. Honestly, this was a darn good bowl.

It could have been a little spicier but it’s spiciness mixed with the tonkotsu was very pleasing.

And as always, I got a free dessert. I think it might be time for a Bassanova/Tenhou party soon.

New ramen mag! すごいラーメン2011! This one is actually one of my favorite annual publications. But they never include Bassanova. Maybe next year…

Aside from the new shops that are featured every year, I often wonder how the same shops stay in these mags year after year. Some are good, but some aren’t. I don’t want to say it, but there must be some money involved…But what do I know…

Roosters and sardines…

Day 380:

It was one of those days…those days where the ramen stars weren’t aligned and everywhere I tried to go to was closed. Thus, I ended up eating lunch at a nearby soba shop that seemed to be reserved for locals only. Luckily, I was a local and it was time to let that be known.

I ordered the udon and curry rice set.

Ohh the udon was fantastic. It’s good to know that a shop like this exists only a few steps from my apt.

Anyway, here’s a picture of some niboshi. You’ll see why later.

Dad was back in town and so was Dragon. And as one would expect, dad insisted on having Chee-chan take a picture with him.

I guess I can’t really argue. I probably would have done the same.

Shuga’s newest creation: spicy negi meshi!

After work, it was time to meet some friends at the Tori no Ichi (酉の市) fair at a shrine in Shinjuku.

That’s where I found a ramen burger stand from Kitakata.

And you know I had to try it.

Aside from falling apart and tasting more like yakisoba, it wasn’t that bad. But I bet Bassanova’s ramen burger from back in the day was way better.

Anyhow, the Torinoichi festival is always held in November and it’s mostly a festival to ensure that businesses have a good year.

Special bamboo rakes are sold and they are said to symbolize prosperity in business. A friend of ours ending up buying mini ones for everyone.

And a slightly bigger (and more expensive) one for himself. ありがとう!There are many different food vendors surrounding the temple and I encourage you to check it out. Perhaps next year?

By the time we left the shrine, we were all hungry again and decided to go for some ramen at Nagi (新宿煮干ラーメン 凪) in Golden-gai.

When we got there, we started chatting with one of the guests as were we waiting for a seat. And after a few minutes of ramen talk I was like “Wait, are you the owner of Nagi?” Then he says “Well, I guess you can call me the boss.” Holy crap! It was Satoshi Ikuta in the flesh!! Awesome!

Time for some niboshi ramen!

This ramen is a heavy, niboshi-rich bowl. If you don’t like sardines, you may want to stay away. Or it may change the way you think of them for the better. The soup is something like 90% niboshi and the rest chicken.

Also in the bowl is what they call Noodle Sashimi (麺のお刺身). It’s like a really, really long wonton skin.

As you can tell, I was satisfied…completely.

The ramen stars had finally aligned…

Yesssssss…

Day 379:

Yes

Yess…

Yesss…

Yessss….

Yesssss…

Yessssss…

Yesssssss…

Happy birthday Nobo!!

It was time to meet moca at the Mori Tower.

Hola.

And for once, she agreed to go eat ramen.

So she brought her friend and I brought my friend. And we all went to Menya San Maru Go (めんや 参伍)

They all got the tori paitan., which was alright.

But I got the signature ramen.

And it was delicious.

Better than I expected.

Karaoke anyone?

Rain.

Cuppie.

Goodnight…

Sigh…

Day 378:

The Japanese say that when you sigh, happiness escapes.

Sigh…

Sigh…

But I say let it escape. And let others breathe it in. Because happiness is only useful if it is shared.

Yoshikibo…

Day 377:

My first impression of Ryu-chan Yoshikibo (世界の龍ちゃんよしき坊) was not very good. But I apparently I ordered the wrong thing. This shop is actually amazing! And the owner is a character too. Just check out his website. He came into Bassanova one night and was really cool so I went to return the favor.

He’s such a fan of American cars and drag racing that he often goes to see them in LA at the Pomona Raceway. These are his cars. He insisted that they go on the blog. haha.

We have a lot in common. And he would love to open a ramen shop in America someday. Perhaps I could help…

On to the food. There’s plenty of items that you won’t see on the menu. And these items are typically reserved for the locals that frequent his shop. Since I live only a few blocks away and because he seemed to like me, I was given the privilege of trying some of these items. Sweet! Like this chashu kabayaki-don. Wow!

And his special tan-tan men. I got it a little spicier than normal. It was bomb.

The noodles could have been better but I was just happy to get special access to his backyard menu.

And he was such a cool guy that he gave me his recipe for the kabayaki-don sauce. Seriously! How cool was that! So of course I had to make it when I got to work. This sauce was great, but I need to buy a torch!

Fat noodles are your friend.

Guess where we ended up after work? Again…

Woot!

It’s bright outside.

Time to go home…

High heat…

Day 376:

I was working the lunch shift again and we weren’t that busy so I was able to get a lot of stuff done. The burners were on full blast and I was cooking up some heat. This is the view from under our kama. This is precisely why our soup only takes hours and not days to be ready to serve.

Anyway, I decided to try the tsukemen from Rokurinsha that Boom got me for my bday.

The noodles were thick like udon.

And they took more than 10 minutes to cook.

But they were incredible. I still can’t believe I haven’t been to Rokurinsha yet.

I need to go there soon.

After work I went to go visit Uno-san to catch up over a shot of beer.

And a shot of homemade umeshu. After one or two of these, you will probably feel like the sumo dude sat on you. It’s deathly strong.

Remember the bowl from Ippudo, Setaga-ya, and Nakamoto that I had at the Tokyo Ramen Show? Well here’s the 7-11 version.

As you might have guessed, it wasn’t as good, but it was still good.

The noodles were especially very different from what I remember.

But I wasn’t complaining. Only in Japan can you eat something like this while sitting on the sidewalk in the middle of the night.

Growing up…

Day 375:

Two beautiful princesses came to visit me at work today…

Princess Layla.

And Princess Isla. Oh how fast they are growing up.

And they filled Bassanova with their royal party. Luckily, I was just getting off from working the lunch shift and I got to join them.

After a few drinks, it was time for some ramen at Manraiken (中華 萬来軒) in nearby Higashi-Matsubara.

Just a classic shoyu.

Perfect for taming the beast.

The gyoza helped too…although I wanted a kebab! haha.

I guess we are all growing up in different ways.

But I still have a long way to go…

Many wishes…

Day 374:

“It is precisely the possibility of realizing a dream that makes life interesting.”
    – The Alchemist

I made many wishes today. I wished to start the day alone so I could savor a miraculous bowl of ramen at one of my favorite shops: Menya Shichisai. Unfortunately, I arrived during the only hour of the day that they close so they can prep for their transformation to Edoama (TOKYO味噌らーめん 江戸甘) at night. No worries. I had time to wait…

And wander around Toritsukasei thinking about my future. I’ve always been one to look forward to getting older. I’ve never really wished to be a kid again. Sure it would be fun to relive those special moments of growing up, but the thought of those special moments that I have yet to live are far more interesting.

Finally, it was time for a wish to come true.

The Edoama version of Menya Shichisai specializes in a miso ramen with a Tokyo/Kitakata flair that does more than strike up the band.

With an option to top it with “high collar” cheese, this ramen was nothing short of…

…a wish come true.

Then I wished to spend the rest of the night with my closest friends and family.

Where I made another wish. A wish that I will traditionally decline to share. 😛

Gotta thank the almighty rameniac for joining us as well.

Later, I wished to go to Bassanova. To celebrate the night with more friends and to share ideas about the future.

My family.

Thanks Boom!

Then we ramen-hopped our way to Nandenkanden where Mr. Nandenkanden himself treated us to a little celebration.

With free food and drinks.

I wished Darin would cheer up.

That’s better.

Thank you Kawahara-san.

And thanks to all my friends and family.

And a very special thanks to you for making all my birthday wishes come true!