Our first post of 2014 is a special edition from Los Angeles. Actually, from Hacienda Heights, world renown suburb whose mall parking lot served as the backdrop for the epic battle between the Turks and Marty McFly in Back to the Future.
I had the chance to dine with Keizo of Go Ramen!, who more people might know today as the lord and master of the epic Ramen Burger, but he will always be my fellow Setagaya-ku ramen holmes.
Foo Foo Tei is one of our favorite spots. I've been going here ever since I was in high school, when they only had a shoyu, shio, and miso. Now they have a different bowl for every day of the month. I still haven't tried all of them (but Keizo has).
We started with the legendary "hairy" gyoza, which is some of the best gyoza I've ever had. They've changed the recipe a couple times, but it's better than ever, crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and served alongside grated daikon radish for a cool kick.
When I haven't been back in a while, I'll usually go with their take on tonkotsu ramen.
|Nanchatte tonkotsu ramen ($8)|
Nanchatte means "just kidding," and is a sort of joke since the milky white broth is comprised of soy milk rather than liquified pork bones. It's a lot lighter and sweeter than a typical tonkotsu bowl, but still packs a lot of flavor due to the minced garlic, ginger, and fried onions loaded into the bowl.
Another favorite is their shoyu loaded with Chinese mabotofu. The shop's mabo is really good and freshly made, with lots of spices. None of that instant packet garbage here.
|Mabo ramen shoyu ($8.80)|
Their shio tanmen is incredibly popular, especially with my mom. It's loaded with tons of fresh vegetables (not just bean sprouts) and bits of meat. Like most of Foo Foo Tei's bowls, the giant donburi is filled to the brim and it's (almost) too much food for one person.
It's always great to return to your roots. Thank you to Keizo and Foo Foo Tei guru Murakami-san for a great meal and start to the new year.
Shimamoto Okaasama, gochisosamadeshita! Junko-san, omedetougozaimasu!
15018 Clark Ave.
Hacienda Heights, CA 91745
Open from 1130-930pm (closes from 2-530pm M-F and at 830pm Sun)