May 2016

Ramen Tatsunoya – Pasadena

Ramen Tatsunoya - Pasadena

There’s been a line snaking down Fair Oaks Avenue ever since Ramen Tatsunoya opened late last year in Old Pasadena. Good ramen, the stuff that warms bellies and soothes souls, has been largely absent in the neighborhood, and everyone is clearly glad that this is no longer the case.

Ramen Tatsunoya - Pasadena

According to the Los Angeles Times, “Ramen Tatsunoya is the first American restaurant from a well-established Japanese chain of ramen shops, which founder Ryuta Kajiwara opened in his hometown of Kurume, in Japan’s Fukuoka Prefecture, in 1999.”

The Astronomer and I tucked in for dinner on a recent #datenight. Even on a Thursday evening on the early side of dinnertime, a line was winding out the door. Without too long a wait, we snagged two seats at the bar overlooking the open kitchen. 

Ramen Tatsunoya - Pasadena

To start, an order of the Crispy Spicy Chashu Wrap ($4.10). This oddly interesting appetizer consisted of iceberg lettuce, pulled pork, crisped rice cereal, and shredded cheese layered atop a sheet of seaweed. The combination left something to be desired for me, but The Astronomer was game to eat all three.

Ramen Tatsunoya - Pasadena

The best part of the meal was the two bowls of ramen we shared. First up was the signature Koku Tonkotsu ($11.80). The broth, laced with pork back fat, spicy miso, garlic, and burned onion oil, was so rich and so slurp-able. The slices of chashu could not have been more tender.

Ramen Tatsunoya - Pasadena

The noodles, straight and toothsome, didn’t loose their bite one bit in the hot broth.

Ramen Tatsunoya - Pasadena

Also great was the Spicy Tonkotsu ($12.30). In addition to the usual wood ear mushrooms, pork, and beansprouts, our bowl was topped with crushed hazelnuts. Nuts!

Ramen Tatsunoya - Pasadena

For dessert, a serving of Tatsunoya’s house-made coconut flan with matcha cream ($4.80). Simple, cooling, and good.

Welcome to the neighborhood, Tatsunoya. We’re very happy you’re here.

Ramen Tatsunoya
16 North Fair Oaks Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91103
Phone: 626-432-1768

One year ago: Phong Dinh Restaurant – San Gabriel
Two years ago: 
St. John’s Rhubarb Crumble Cake
Three years ago: Sitka & Spruce – Seattle
Four years ago:
Bắp Xào Tôm Bơ – Vietnamese Sauteed Corn with Dried Shrimp, Scallions, and Butter
Five years ago: Corn Muffins with Bacon, Cheddar, and Jalapeño
Six years ago: Eat My Blog: Summer 2010 Edition
Seven years ago: Nui Lòng – Grandpa’s Spaghetti with Offal
Eight years ago: Eating in Hong Kong II
Nine years ago: Rae – Philadelphia

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