Ramen Monday - July 4

Happy 4th of July and Ramen Monday!

Heading down to Little Tokyo to pick up some bamboo party picks for an upcoming catering gig, I thought to stop in Chin-Ma-Ya for their signature Tan-Tan Men.

"Ramen noodles made from our original recipe in Japan. A rich pork and chicken broth with the distinct flavor of our own Ji-Ma Jan sesame paste and Ra-Yu chili oil."

Tan-Tan Men

Server didn't care to turn the bowl around to show the company name.
If this was my place, I'd be disappointed in the missed photo opportunity.
Sorry, it's the marketing person in me.

What I liked about it, you can pick the spiciness level (1-3), it has a nutty flavor to it and they don't fill it with a lot of condiments I don't like. The noodles are good and well cooked.

What I didn't like, the bowl is too deep for the type of spoon they use. It's a very flat spoon, maybe if it had an angle to it you could scoop the ingredients from the bottom of the bowl. The other thing is their service, the sign outside says they have "Over 100 Locations in Japan!"

But the service in Los Angeles stinks.
Give me a call, I'll help you...

A few months ago, my friend had suggested this place and mentioned to me that they're really popular in Japan. I'm always up to try new places and since she recommended it, we gave it a try. I couldn't believe how slow the service was and having to ask about our order didn't make it easier, she was really embarrassed. She doesn't suggest ramen anymore... LOL!

On this trip, the service wasn't slow, but felt rushed when the server brought the check before I received my ramen, WTH? Strike 1. After I was finished and they removed my empty bowl, another server brought me another check. Strike 2. I explained that I had already paid and was waiting for my change, because you aren't getting a 110% tip.

Disappointed, I headed down the street to The Lazy Ox Canteen and Melanie took care of me...

Headwater Pale Ale
The Lazy Ox Canteen

This is turning out to by my favorite Downtown restaurant...

Before Chin-Ma-Ya moved into this space in Weller Court, I really liked the previous restaurant. Had eaten there about a dozen times and knew the server over time. Unfortunately, times changed and that restaurant didn't know how to survive, so they closed. The women who was the server took care of the entire restaurant by herself and did a great job. So the times I've been to Chin-Ma-Ya and experienced their slow service, it really makes you realize how important good servers are, especially since Chin-Ma-Ya has 3 servers working. Sorry, occupational observation...

But this day isn't about ramen, it's about celebrating our
Independence and Freedom
Happy 4th of July!

Stay Safe Today

Photos by Jay Terauchi
(c) Kahuna of the Kitchen


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