Hakata Ikkousha – Torrance, CA

IMG_4783
Hakata Ikkousha

Hakata Ikkousha is another ramen branch directly imported from Japan. They specialize in Hakata style ramen, which translates into a milky tonkotsu broth and thin, straight noodles.

IMG_4788
Kousuke Yoshimura

The mastermind behind Hakata Ikkousha is Kousuke Yoshimura, who is very passionate and very devoted and obsessive about the ramen coming out of the kitchen.

IMG_4784
Hakata Ikkousha
IMG_4787
Hakata Ikkousha

The ramen has won numerous awards over the years including Ultimate Ramen Champion in 2011 and 2012, selling well over 100,000 bowls each year, and now has branches in the US, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Indonesia, China, and Australia in addition to the branches in Japan.

TV’s throughout the restaurant played looped videos about Mr. Yoshimura, and Hakata Ikkousha’s ramen making and awards, along with huge signs in their quest for global ramen domination.

The menu is fairly simple and straightforward with only a handful of different ramen options, with additional toppings that can be added a la carte.

IMG_4791
Tonkotsu

The basic tonkotsu ramen comes with a creamy, milky and foamy broth adorned with negi (green onions), wood ear mushrooms, thin slices of pork, and tomago (egg).

The broth has a deep, rich porky flavor that is not too salty. Perhaps that deep, porky flavors is due to the bubbles in the broth. The broth is poured from a height to give the broth its bubbles, and to help aerate the broth to expand its flavor, much like pulled tea in India.

IMG_4790
God Fire

The “God Fire” ramen is a combination of the tonkotsu with chile, that can be ordered from levels 1-4. The God Fire ramen looks like an angry bowl of molten lava, amidst the calming sight of the negi, mushrooms, egg and pork. The ramen is able to maintain its porky goodness, and is not overpowered by the chile thereby retaining its most important qualities.

Many times ramen restaurants that tout the spiciness of their soup are trying to cover up the inferior taste of their broth.

IMG_4792
Egg

The egg is cooked perfectly, just barely wobbling between soft boiled and remaining uncooked.

IMG_4785
Condiments
IMG_4786
Condiments

Accompaniments already set on the table include gyoza sauce, ramen sauce, spicy pickled vegetables, ginger (sorry Mary Ann), garlic, sesame seeds, and pepper.

Hakata Ikkousha is a welcome sight to the ramen scene in the US, but I still slightly prefer Santouka’s ramen.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s