Yatai Ramen at Breadbar – 6/23/10

Yatai Ramen

8718 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048

There’s a new pop-up restaurant at Third Street’s Breadbar. For six weeks, Yatai Ramen is serving up modern “twists” of ramen, one even including foie gras. Being a big ramen fan, these variations were definitely worth a try.

Four traditional types were offered, including shio, shoyu, miso and spicy miso. The ‘twists’ include a tomato ramen, Vietnam ramen, oxtail ramen, and foie gras ramen.

In addition, a pig feet gyoza and a vegetarian kale gyoza were offered, with a few boba drinks.

We started with an order of each gyoza. First, the pig feet.

The gyoza were cooked beautifully, with a very crispy bottom and just the right amount of chew to the noodle. I couldn’t really tell the difference between pig feet and just..pork; however, these were really delicious.

Next up, kale gyoza.

Nicely cooked again, the kale flavor was bright and worked well in these dumplings.

We tried five variations of ramen – 2 traditional and 3 twists.

Shio Ramen – seasoning with Indonesian sea salt, corn butter

This was a very good bowl, with a deep, rich flavor. The noodles, consistent throughout each bowl, were perfectly al dente. The long slices of pork belly were extremely tender, and very flavorful.

Spicy Miso Ramen – seasoning with blended miso, spicy sauce

The soup base was a very rich red, easily distinguishing that this would be the spicy variation. A little bit too spicy for me – but everyone else in our group enjoyed it.

Vietnam Ramen – Pho style, raw beef tenderloin, asian herb

This one was very interesting, and the first of the twists. This was kind of a beef-based shoyu broth; it really tasted like a combination of the two soups. The meat was nicely tender, however, I felt the soup was a bit salty.

Oxtail Ramen – rich oxtail soup, truffle oil, marinated poached egg

I really enjoy oxtail, so this was a logical choice. A large bone-in chunk of oxtail was put on top of the noodles. The meat was moist and succulent, though there were a number of small bones to contend with – taking away some of the enjoyment. The soup had a rich meaty flavor and was a little bit sweet – the truffle oil was lost in the richness of the soup.

Foie Gras Ramen – rich master stock consomme soup, chopped chives

This was kind of a must order to me. Foie gras…ramen? I had to see what this interpretation was like. The soup was rather salty, shoyu-based. The piece of foie gras on top was nicely seared and perfectly cooked. However, the elements seemed disconnected; it tasted like a seared foie gras on top of a shoyu ramen.

There were some hits and misses at this pop-up. I’m glad I went, as the twists were unique and very different from what you typically find in LA. I would recommend coming to try any of these twists and the gyoza.

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