DTLA: Men Oh Tokushima Ramen Now Open
There’s a new ramen-ya (that’s ramen joint) in town. Men Oh brings tokushima ramen, a bit of a hybrid between tonkotsu (fatty pork) and shoyu (soy sauce) broths. On the island of Shikoku where there is a lot of pig farming, tokushima ramen is common. Instead of the chashu (sliced pork), tokushima features butabara (stir-fried pork belly). Lucky for us Americans, the Men Oh branches in the states serve both. The Men Oh website also says this ramen is also enjoyed with a bowl of white rice and raw egg. I didn’t see raw egg as an option but the ramen did come with a seasoned boiled egg.
Because I love toppings, I also got wood ear and seaweed with my ramen. I’m glad I did because I didn’t get nearly enough pieces of bamboo. I considered getting the shoyu ramen next time which comes with pork but is a chicken based broth.
After seeing how much meat you get, I definitely can see why a bowl of rice would be needed. Men Oh also does don (rice bowls) with these toppings but I’m always ramen over rice any day.
I also ordered the gyoza. I suspect it’s pork though it’s not stated. I’m down with triple pork (pork, pork belly, pork gyozas). I loved these. The wrappers were delicate yet had a nice crispness to it. I can see they really worked on them after Darin Dines said his were pale.
The noodles are of a thinner sort. I felt they along with the stir-fried pork belly wasn’t seasoned enough. I kept tasting the broth and I finally decided it needed to be slightly saltier. After I was done with the gyoza, I poured a little of the dipping sauce into my bowl. Ah, much better. The gyoza sauce is a house sauce and not something I concocted with the help of soy and vinegar. I did add chili oil though. A lot of chili oil. And then pepper. Maybe I’m not cut out for this broth.
My standard go-to ramen-ya is Chin Ma Ya. I go about every 10 days or so. Initially I didn’t care for it but I kept trying until I found my perfect bowl which is a spicy tonkotsu. It’s not my favorite ramen but they do a great lunch special. I get ramen + an appetizer (either fried shrimp, kaarage or gyoza) and I’m out the door for around $12. I spent closer to $18 at Men Oh trying to replicate a similar meal and I didn’t even get a drink. Yes, Men Oh does have a lot of meat but I was pretty disappointed with their egg. It was dimpled like they struggled to peel it from the shell. Where are the missing bits of cooked egg white? And if I took Men Oh’s suggestion of white rice, it’s an additional buck.
Overall, I’d go back because they are new. Maybe they’re still working on things? I would think so considering the improvement they made with the gyoza.
And I still want to try their chicken based shoyu ramen.
Men Oh is in the Honda Plaza, across from Sushi Gen.
© The Minty 2012