The Unvegan

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Real Ramen at Ramen Jinya

Why spinach?

Sometimes nothing beats a good bowl of ramen. No, I don’t mean the Cup O Noodle that powered me through late nights in college. I mean real ramen in a real bowl, with some thick broth and some real meat. For lunch, I headed to Ramen Jinya in Studio City with some coworkers to see if their ramen could bring back my memories of drunkenly wandering the streets of Osaka for some noodles in a bowl. There are four signature pork ramen flavors, and although they were strangely out of the Hakata premium rich broth, I was already going with their Original Yokohama ramen, so luckily this didn’t affect me.

The Yokohama ramen was made with pork chashu, spinach, bamboo, green onion and flied onion. Yes, that’s right, the onion was flied and not fried. Already I was reminded of Japan and decided to order as though I was actually in Japan. This meant I didn’t order without the spinach or onion and would just eat around it. Also, I kind of figured this ramen was made in batches and such ingredients couldn’t be avoided. On top of those regular ingredients, I ordered spicy miso and garlic for my ramen.

Not long after, my ramen was on the table in front of me and looked beautiful. I pushed the spinach aside, mixed in the spicy miso, squeezed some garlic out of the press and went to work. I quickly found that the spicy miso wasn’t too spicy and had to add more spice, but it only went up from there. The broth was thick and full of salty porky flavor. The pork itself was from the belly and tasted like boiled bacon, but in a good way. But by far the best part of the ramen was the noodles themselves. These were sturdy noodles and cooked just perfectly so that they were almost the Japanese version of al dente. They were truly delicious and even more so with that great broth.

At a price of $8.55 before any add-ons, Ramen Jinya might scare off some people used to Cup O Noodle, but it is definitely worth the price of admission. Plus, who doesn’t love flied onions?