Dose of Vitamin P: Hakata Nagahama Ramen
21515 S Western Avenue
Torrance, CA 90501
310 782 0335
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Mitsuwa, a chain of Japanese supermarkets that extends from San Diego to Edgewater, New Jersey, regularly hosts compelling Events. Vendors fly from Japan to feature their culinary specialties in existing food court stalls and pop-up stands. For the Kyushu Okinawa Fair, which showcased the foods of a particular island and prefecture in southern Japan, Kyushu-based chef Tsuyoshi Tanaka prepared Hakata Nagahama Ramen ($9.90). The cloudy tonkotsu ramen packed plenty of pork richness, but unlike some other bowls that are new to L.A., didn’t contain globs of pork fat, resulting in a more enjoyable aftermath. The bowl also contained firm, fat-rimmed slices of char siu, and thatches of crisp scallions and crunchy wood ear mushrooms. A table by the booth held a condiment bar that offered people the opportunity to pile on punchy red pickled ginger julienne, fiery mustard leaf, and a pungent garlic slurry. Really though, the basic ramen bowl needed little embellishment. Bonus: each bowl came with a sheet of nori offering thanks in over 10 languages. To this, I said, “You’re welcome,” and plunged the briny seaweed into the broth.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.