Jun 2010

Yatai Ramen at Breadbar – Los Angeles

Yatai Ramen Twist at Bread Bar - Los Angeles

In Los Angeles, the words “ramen” and “Westside” are rarely uttered in one breath. While this part of town is suitable for cupcakes, macrobiotics, and all manner of fine dining, it’s Torrance and Little Tokyo that reign supreme when it comes to serious noodle slurping. That is until chefs Kazuo Shimamura and Noriyuki Sugie of Ironnori Concepts popped up at Breadbar at West Third.

Inspired by Japanese yatai (mobile shops) that cater to working men, “Yatai Ramen” is a temporary restaurant that will be occupying Breadbar’s space from Monday to Saturday, 5 to 10 PM, until July 24. The Astronomer and I, along with our friends Diana Takes a Bite and G-Ma, stopped in for a comforting bite after a long day of hawking sweets at the Eat My Blog charity bake sale. Working women need to be well fueled too, you know.

Yatai Ramen Twist at Bread Bar - Los Angeles

We were surprised with a basket of Breadbar breads as we perused the menu. The turmeric loaf drew me in with its intriguingly yellow hue.

Yatai Ramen

With only eight varieties of ramen and two types of gyoza on offer, the focused menu was easy to navigate. To start, we shared an order each of the pig feet (left) and kale gyozas ($8 each). Both were served with the same gussied up soy sauce. From the crisp, golden sear to the well-seasoned fillings, these gyozas went down deliciously easy.

Yatai Ramen Twist at Bread Bar - Los Angeles

When it came time to choose my main noodle, I was tempted by the foie gras ramen with chopped chives ($18), but settled on the spicy miso ramen ($11). TheΒ  bowl arrived steaming hot and brimming with Kurobuta pork belly, nori (seaweed), bamboo shoots, kikurage (woodear mushrooms), Tokyo negi (Japanese Leeks), a poached egg, and a hefty serving of curly noodles. As an extra spicy touch, the chef swiped a special yuzu chili paste on the bowl’s rim. The ramen’s flavors and textures were bright, bold, and undeniably satisfying. This noodle soup was soulful.

Yatai Ramen Twist at Bread Bar - Los Angeles

Seasoned with Indonesian sea salt and corn butter, The Astronomer’s shio ramen ($10) was equally fabulous. Before the corn butter melted into the warm broth, I managed to eat a chopstick-full of it along with a few noodles. It was a heavenly bite.

Our meal at Yatai Ramen was nothing short of wonderful. It turns out that delicious ramen can be found on the Westside, if only for a limited time.

Breadbar at West Third
8718 W. 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Phone: 310-205-0124

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25 thoughts on “Yatai Ramen at Breadbar – Los Angeles

  1. I am dying to try this but was curious if anyone’s check it out yet. sounds promising. can’t wait. thanks, cathy!!

    p.s. my favorite ramen in la is on the westside! SANTOUKA!!!! πŸ™‚

  2. I went the first night they started and found the goyza to be a lot better than the ramen. I meant to put up a post about it but my pictures weren’t very inspiring. Yours are great! I just went to santouka two days ago, and I liked it so much more.

  3. Argh I’m dying for this ramen and those kale gyozas! So cool you got bread with your Japanese meal too πŸ˜‰ I need to get over there before the limited time is up.

  4. So so good! Just wrote about it myself actually! πŸ˜‰ Next time I might have to try the shio for some of that unctuous corn butter.

  5. I probably shouldnt have been looking at this post right before lunchtime – I’m starving now. The gyoza are beautiful! Definitely looks like it’s worth a try before it’s gone.

  6. Looks delicious! I’m going this Saturday…now I can’t wait to try. I haven’t seen any other person’s review yet. πŸ™‚ Great write up!

  7. This really was a wonderful review. However, reviews like this frequently make me wish I lived somewhere else – or at least closer.
    That tumeric bread is SO intense looking. How was it?

  8. I thought the shio ramen was just too salty (even though it’s supposed to be a bit salty) for me. It was very hard for me to enjoy the broth with that level of salt. The noodles were just okay, though I didn’t expect anything great on that level. The oxtail ramen I had was better. I thought it was cool because I asked Chef Sugie if it was inspired by Korean braised oxtails and he said it was. Definitely the same flavor profile as Korean braised oxtail, which is sweet-soy.

    I’d like to go back and try the spicy miso ramen since you seemed to like that. I also need to go try the foie gras ramen. Chef Sugie said the menu was changed last Friday, so there might be some new additions to the menu. I did love the pork feet gyoza. DELISH. I think the place works really well as a ramen-ya

  9. I’m finally gonna try this tonight!! Seems like Yatai is hit or miss depending on that day/week’s menu? Hopefully what’s available tonight is as good as what you had! πŸ™‚

  10. My girlfriend and I were headed to Yatai this weekend. Any recs?? Which gyoza was better, any ramens that are a must?? Thanks and enjoyed the review.

  11. Waleed – The two that we ordered—shio and spicy miso—were excellent. I’ve also heard that the oxtail is good. Both gyozas were great. If you had to choose just one, I’d go with the kale because it’s different than normal gyoza offerings.

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