Bassaween 2010…

Day 362:

Happy Halloween! Ahh…the perfect season for pumpkin ramen?? Just kidding. That’s a miso ramen that just looks like pumpkin. Anyway, you better get prepared to be spooked! Cuz Bassanova has been overtaken by a special all girl staff!!

Welcome! (Do you get it?)

Normal people don’t celebrate Halloween in Japan, but this is not your normal ramen shop and these girls are definitely not normal either. haha.

Cinnamon Shuga and Kei-chan were pretty cute…

But Boombilocks quickly stole the show.

Just look at the graceful way she eats. Now that’s a real woman.

Woah! Now THAT’S a real woman! Did I not warn you?

Mari Mokkori Macduckston made an appearance and his mokkori could not be resisted.

And Kei-chan’s twin sister momi-chan came in to hang out with Boombilocks. They are bff’s.

Bassanova is the best ramen shop in the world!!! Period!! No other shop loves what we do and cares about what we do while having fun doing it.

Don’t you agree?

Knock knock…

Day 361:

Who’s there? With an unexpected knock on my door waking me up from a deep sleep, I was about to go kick some salesman’s a**. But wait, it’s the mailman…with a package? Yes! Peanut butter m&m’s and cinnamon toast crunch!!! Pepper, you rock!!

The typhoon was in full force. So with a useless umbrella in hand, I headed back to Menya Tenhou to try their Niboshi Ramen.

Not bad. I actually like it better than their regular tonkotsu.

The manager recognized me again and this time he hooked me up with some free dessert! Sweet!

It was a good day. The rain even stopped by the time we got off work.

Know any good knock-knock jokes?

To the brim…

Day 360:

Today was officially the last day of Ichiryu. It will soon become a yakiniku shop, I think. Their boss stopped by to give us a bunch of goodies, including this rotisserie chicken. I always had a bad impression of him, but over the past couple of months he really proved to be a pretty stand up guy. I’m pretty sure we’ll keep in touch.

Anyway, I shredded the rotisserie chicken and topped it along with some roasted potatoes onto the green curry. Can you say &*#^@ %$? Wow, that was incredible!

I really liked this shot so I decided to take a picture of it. Now imagine carrying this extremely hot pot of soup filled to the brim.

Recently we’ve been getting a lot of requests for a garlic version of our Tondaku Wadashi Soba so I experimented with one. Honestly, I liked it better than the Tondaku Garlic Soba that’s already on the menu. I think an addition needs to be made. But I need a second opinion. Please come in and try!

Alright I’m full. Now let’s go prepare for this typhoon that’s coming…

Winding up…

Day 359:

The rain was back and although I just wanted to stay home, I needed to do some research. So back to Momo No Ki (小麦と肉 桃の木) I went…

The all girl staff was waiting. And with Halloween around the corner, Bassanova might be invaded with an all girl staff as well. Hehe.

This is by far one of my favorite tsukemen joints. And believe it or not, it’s not just because of the all girl staff.

Today I ordered the kotteri-shoyu tsukemen. Bomb!

The shio tsukemen is slightly better imo, but you can’t go wrong with either.

The pigtail rice dish is amazing too. Tender, moist, and melty.

momi stopped by basa to say hi and give us the lowdown on our tv debut. Soon, she said, soon.

Then we went to go hang out at her friends cafe/bar Kurukuru (くるくる), which happens to be the same owners with Tege-Tege next door to Bassanova. Small world!

Time to unwind…

A faux party…

Day 358:

With the change of seasons once again upon us, the cool, crisp winter air has made way for change in this never ending circle of life. A party may be in the works, but there’s not much of anything to celebrate.


Cupcake is curious…not to mention cute.

And my youngest niece is in full celebration mode.

But by month’s end, my bro’s family will be moving further away…

Perhaps this rotisserie chicken (a rarity in Japan) will help me cope.

Or perhaps not. So who wants to party with me?

Sweet kakuni boots…

Day 357:

I woke up today in need of some boots. Ha..just kidding. (I’m not sure where that thought came from.) Anyway, I needed to stop by the home store to buy some things for Bassanova and within that store is the not-so-special ramen shop that has great kakuni.

Like I said, the kakuni is great! But everything else tastes like boots…

Dinner time…

I had some cool visitors today. Not only did big boss stop by to say hello, but Calvin and Jordan brought in some more of their UC friends, Conner and Richard. Big Country Conner ended up eating 600 grams of noodles with his green curry. Impressive! Later in the night, Mizutani-san came in with her brother to try Bassanova. I love it when people follow through on their promises!

The ride home was sooo cold that I needed something to warm me up fast. Seriously, it felt like it was gonna snow.

I never knew there was chicken in this soup!” I used to love that commercial.

Now where did I put those boots?

Reckless stamina…

Day 357:

I finally had a day off to just relax. I tried going to the gym, but they were closed. So naturally I went to go eat ramen instead. Gamushara (我武者羅) in Hatagaya caught my eye while I was doing research this morning so I decided to check it out.

Gamushara actually shares this space with two other ramen shops (Yahiko and Dokkan) operating at different hours, presumably owned by the same people.

What caught my eye about Gamushara was the dark shoyu coloring.

I mean, doesn’t it look beautiful?

It’s strong saltiness is smoothed out by the ginger and spinach. The thinly sliced chashu was tender and moist and if I ever go back I’ll probably order the chashu men. The noodles made the bowl proud.

I’m confused. Did I just eat Gamushara or Dokkan? Haha. Either they don’t expect you to see the bottom of the bowl or they used the wrong one.

Then as I was getting ready to catch up on posts, I got a call from Boom saying that my friends had come into basa. After learning that it was my good friend Shin from LA and his girl Kurumi, I rushed over in a flash. Shin is also living his dream, in Utsunomiya. 頑張れ!

On my way home I set out to find the new Nanstuttei in Shimokitazawa but somehow got confused on its location and ended up at Chabuton (とんこつらぁ麺 CHABUTON).

You’ve been to Chabuya in LA right? Same owner, different flavor.

Yes, the Japan version tastes so much better.

As I was riding my bike back along the same street I used to get here, I found the new Stamina Tanmen Nantsutteii. I don’t know how I missed it. Anyway, I stood in front for about 30 seconds contemplating whether I should go in or not. My stomach was saying no, but my reckless ramen mind was in full control.

So there you have it. Two bowls in 20 minutes. Just another day in the life…

Not bad, but I prefer Nantsuttei’s original. Speaking of which, Nantsuttei will also be featured in Mitsuwa’s Umaimono Gourmet Fair this weekend and next weekend at both the Torrance and New Jersey stores, respectively.

Dang I’m so full…

No competition…

Day 356:

With the rain starting to fall, I was running out of time before work and decided to just hop into our nearby competitor Kyushu Ichiban (九州一番).

All of our customers say that Bassanova has the best tonkotsu ramen on the block.

I couldn’t agree more. Ichiban’s ramen has a stink to it like no other. And it’s not the good stink either.

Back at work I tried one of the noodle samples we got from the expo. Unsure of how long to cook it, two minutes sounded about right. They were alright, but they tasted a little too instant.

Negi meshi!

The Tokyo Ramen Show is coming!! From 11/3~11/7, 10am~8pm at Komazawa Olympic Park. Coincidentally 11/3 will mark my 365th day in Tokyo. Won’t you come celebrate with me???!!!

Fulfilling a promise…

Day 355:

A few days ago when I met Tsuijita-san, he had asked me if I’d ever eaten at his shop. Aside from the superb bowl of miso ramen I tried at the Odaiba ramen park last year, I truthfully said no. But I made a promise to do so in the coming days and since I had the late shift tonight, I made the 40 min trek out to Ochanomizu. Mentoku Nidaime Tsujita (めん徳二代目つじ田) is pretty much on the opposite end of the Marunouchi Subway Line from me so I had to calculate my time wisely. When I arrived there was a line of about ten people but it moved really fast.

Within minutes I was seated in front of this. I always wondered why Tsujita was so popular. And now I know why. The ramen is crazy good!! The first sip literally gave me goosebumps. And the last sip…well we’ll get to that.

The noodles are from who else but Mikawaya Seimen and they seriously go well with this soup.

Like every great bowl, the last sip was better than the first. So if you happen to be in Orange County this weekend, you can check out Tsujita in Costa Mesa at Mitsuwa’s Umaimono Gourmet Fair. I suggest that you do! And if you happen to see Tsujita-san there, please tell him I said hello.

Oh yeah, my nieces came into Bassanova yesterday and drew me some pictures. They sure do know how to make me happy.

Real happy!

Are you happy?

Hide and seek…from Tokyo to New York…

Day 354:

Remember when Yamashita-san from Yamachan visited Bassanova? Well, at that time he had told me to go visit Ramen Hide (ラーメン屋 秀) aka Hide-chan ramen because he was working with them to open a shop in New York. Well, the New York shop has been open for a few months now and apparently it’s been getting a lot of hype.

So today, I decided to meet my bro for lunch since his office was nearby.

Bro got the Aburi Torotama Chashu Men. I’ll let him tell you what he thought in the comments.

I got the Hakata Dontaku Mori, basically their ramen with everything on it.

I liked it, but it was very heavy. The soup was actually lacking a little flavor too. The noodles weren’t bad.

As I’m sure my bro will explain, the torotama wasn’t very torotama. haha.

Back at basa we decided to make use of the yakiniku tare we got from the Ichiryu boss.

Holy namabaranikuwoyakibaniyaitachashu that was good! Anyway…

You guys are in for a treat! This is my first ever collabo post. My good friend Eva aka vitamineva went to go check out the new Hide-chan ramen in New York today and this is what she writes:

The ramen was pretty good, though I don’t think it deserves the title of best ramen in NYC. The tonkotsu is very rich, almost creamy.

The noodles were cooked al dente and the ramen was perfectly seasoned. I really liked the green onions as it cut through the richness of the broth and added some freshness. The cha siu didn’t particularly wow me and I actually ended up adding the pickled ginger to the dish because I felt like the ramen lacked a little something. I kind of wish I didn’t order the egg because it wasn’t all that great. Overall it was good but I wasn’t that impressed with it. I kept drinking the broth though because it was really good.

The Spicy Hakata Ramen was pretty disappointing. My friends who ordered it weren’t very impressed with the dish. One said that it wasn’t worth the $10. All they did was add chili oil to the tonkotsu and it kind of overpowered the tonkotsu broth. The taste reminded me of the cheap ramen I used to get in Korea. One friend pointed out that the broth tasted like the instant Korean ramen he eats.

Haha thanks Eva! You are a lot harsher than I am. 🙂 Hopefully I’ll get to try the New York Hide-chan someday too.