123 S Onizuka St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
verdict: tasty, try it!
i first saw orochon ramen on man vs. food and the seed of desire to try this place was immediately sowed. i was pulled into the hype not because i wanted to test my tongue against satan's crotch (this place is known for its signature fiery soup), but more because i really dig ramen and wanted to find an array of ramen houses to rotate through. methinks it's a good plan right?
on a friday night, the wait was manageable though the earlier you go, the better the chances for you to eat sooner rather than later. you have a choice of either indoor or outdoors seating, but sitting in seems more popular. when we got there, the wait was short. we barely missed the critical time when folks started packing in. must be all those damn hype eaters like moi.
we started off our dinner with the spicy scallop which is suprisingly DELICIOUS. it is chilled and the scallops are teenie, but it's meant to be eaten as a condiment. the scallops have a kick to it as well, but the spiciness is very manageable. the added sweetness to the sauce with sesame seeds sprinkled throughout it made for a delicious explosion in my mouth. it reminded me of a korean dish and i would come here JUST for these scallops. yummy.
1. pick the soup base: miso, soy sauce, or salt. btw, why do they have a soup base called salt? are you thinking hypertension as well? bloating?
2. pick the spice level. i went with the #7 which is a code number for "wimp," "pussy," "loser." i did not mind that since i don't like too spicy so i went with the tongue friendly one...the one that has NO added spice to it. my friend ordered #5 which i took a spoonful of and thought it was ok. apparently, most of the spice settled to the bottom of the bowl. anyways, i was happy with being wimpy.
3. choose extra condiments for your ramen. i skipped this step thinking that it already came with cha su (pork) and veggies so why pile more on? but it was clear after i got my bowl that it's not really much. the cha su slices were thin, tough, and scarce. they were heavy on the bean sprouts, there were a few slices of wood ear (an asian fungus), and bell pepper. i think the most enjoyable part of this bowl was the ramen itself which was perfectly cooked. nice aldente egg noodles are the best!
the broth is good and the ramen was cooked perfectly, but in a head to head challenge with daikokuya, i think orochon has room for improvement.
the wall of fire eaters and lava shitters. if you can consume their signature #2 under 30 minutes, you too, can get a pic on this wall. err, no thanks.