Skip to main content

Hakata Ramen Shin-Sen-Gumi - Little Tokyo

Torn between Shin-Sen-Gumi or Spice Table because it is just so dayam hot outside and I'm not the biggest fan of slurping hot ramen in hot weather. But, I am also curious to see if there really is a legit rival in town so that I don't have to wait in Daikokuya's epic line when winter rolls around. 

So I did what anyone in my position would do. I tweeted...and waited. Sinosoul tweets back "gumi fo sho." He hates carbs and he said to go here so...Gumi it is! My friend finally joins me and we snag a seat before the lunch crowd comes bursting in. The decor is kawaii in that Japanese cafe style and the seating is intimate. There are tables or you can sit at the counter around the ramen creators.


The chandeliers are made out of ramen strainers. Too cute. Inspiring, funny, and seriously, too cute.


We decide to share a Sapporo so we can harden up the place a little. The waitress comes over and asks us if we wanted to do a loud toast. We definitely wanted to do a loud toast. The entire restaurant erupts in a Japanese phrase and ends with "Kampai!" Too cute.


My friend wants to eat the fried squid legs probably because she likes reading that on the menu. I'm imagining a squid walking around in heels, not the tentacles shown here. However, the kewpie mayo and lemon wedge is really the only thing the squid legs need to have the brightness, contrast in texture. Though fried, it doesn't feel heavy at all. 


We both get the same thing. Hakata Ramen normal noodle texture (not hard or soft), light oil (too hot for oily hot soup), medium soup base, yes to sesame seeds, ginger, and scallions. They're out of my beloved eggs so I get the crispy garlic on the side as an extra topping.



With the crispy garlic, really the only extra topping needed. 



The final, customized to order hakata ramen has chashu, crispy garlic (extra cost), ginger, scallions, sesame seeds, and the noodles are much thinner than the ones from daikokuya. It reminds me of angel hair pasta but in a good way. It feels like a lighter ramen but with all the full flavor of the pork broth that's been stewing for hours. I'm not usually one to slurp up all the soup with my ramen so I'm enjoying a sinful dish without all the bloating I usually get from salty food.  

Some drawbacks: Halfway through our meal, a second waitress brings us two bowl of wontons. We tell her we didn't order it. When the check comes, the wontons are on the receipt. We tell her that we didn't order it. They take it off so it's all good. Also, how can a ramen place run out of EGGS at 11:50am, 50 minutes after they open? Perhaps they didn't go get them yet? 

The question is, are they on par with Daikokuya and will I be back? I will definitely be back, if only to try this same ramen with my beloved egg. In the winter, I will probably prefer Daikokuya's thicker noodles and thicker chashu. I know I can get them here too if I pay extra. I like the thinner noodles here for now since I'm craving lighter food. Daikokuya has free garlic paste. Is the garlic chip so much better I have to pay for it? Meh... At the end of the day, it is going to be all about the line anyway.


Shin-Sen-Gumi
132 S Central Ave
Los AngelesCA 90013
Neighborhoods: Downtown, Little Tokyo
(213) 687-7108


Hakata Ramen Shin-Sen-Gumi on Urbanspoon
5 comments

Popular posts from this blog

Donut Friend & Town Pizza - York Blvd, Highland Park, CA

First, Donut Friend - a DIY donut house. They also have some on their list that are already made. I like ordering off their menu because well, they spent a lot of R&D money to make sure some of these ingredients work together. When left up to my demise, the donuts I create end up tasting off. 
My favorite off their menu is the Jets to Basil and Nutella Vision. This one below is neither of these. I don't even quite remember which one this was but it contained reese's pieces and it wasn't as good as the two aforementioned donuts.

You end up ordering at the cash register but the setup looks almost like you order it when you walk up to it and follow the donut maker to the cash register. That is not how it works here. You just order at the cash register and someone makes it for you (and you're allowed to watch this person make it for you). Yes, it is a confusing set up and I get annoyed as well. 
Another place we go to frequently just because it is convenient and becau…

Cuñape

"Cuñape" is the best cheeseballs in the world, and it’s from Santa Cruz, Bolivia. These gooey and addictive cheese balls are similar to the Brazilian "pão de queijo" or the French "gougères" or the Colombian "pandebono" but all of these are different from each other as well. Gougères are lighter and more airy while the Brazilian ones are chewier but drier on the outside. I would say the pandebonos are closest in taste and texture to the Bolivian cuñape but it is slight more bready.

In Bolivia, we use mennonite cheese (farmer's cheese) for this recipe and honestly without that cheese it will never be exactly like the original but you do what you can. I've been hunting down a similar cheese in the U.S. for ages but the closest I can get to it is to use the queso blanco or fresco and add some more salt (or even mix some feta into it).

The history of the cuñape is very interesting. It is a Guaraní word that means "a woman's breast&…

Making Mocochinchi

I get really excited when I can think of a food or drink that is solely Bolivian. I admit there isn't too many Bolivian dishes that are not influenced by the many countries that it borders. Even the Saltena, Bolivia's most famous empanada looking pastry comes from a woman who came from Salta, Argentina, to Tarija, Bolivia. 
So when I'm researching Mocochinchi, my favorite childhood and now adulthood drink, made from dehydrated whole peaches, sugar, and cinnamon, and I find that it's a "Bolivian"drink, I get really really excited. Bolivia Bella goes on to describe regional favorites. 
In Santa Cruz, you can buy the dehydrated peaches in the open markets. I snag a pound of dehydrated peaches because you really can't find these in the U.S. except maybe in Miami or Virginia, where there is a huge population of Bolivians. Using sliced dehydrated peaches don't really work for this particular drink because the fun is eating the reconstituted peaches afterwa…