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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

The Ramen Yokocho Fest In Three GIFs

Graham Clark |
September 14, 2013 | 9:11 p.m. PDT


A bowl of Daikokuya's ramen. (Graham Clark/Neon Tommy)
A bowl of Daikokuya's ramen. (Graham Clark/Neon Tommy)
The afternoon of Sept. 14 saw a truly massive convergence of noodle slurpers in Torrence, California. At the First Annual Ramen Yokocho Fest, people waited in the heat of the afternoon sun for upwards of four hours to get their mitts wrapped around bowls of the worlds best ramen noms.

No joke: two hours in line to enter the festival grounds, then another two hours in line, just to purchase soup from L.A. and Toyko’s esteemed noodlesmiths.

Those who stuck out the wait were rewarded with helpings of bamboo shoots, green onions, marinated eggs, head-on prawns and salty spiced broth. 

SEE ALSO: Two-Day Ramen Festival Coming To L.A.

The diversity of ramen recipes was on display at this festival. Shigato “Naka” Shige, who works for New York City’s Ramen Lab, said that making the dish in America offered him and his peers the chance to experiment.

“The Japanese have a very traditional way, it’s like they have a rule,” Shige said. “But here, it’s great."

"Some people are doing great things, like dipping noodles or using lamb broth. Like the ramen burger. It’s very free,” he said, referencing a take on the dish currently en vogue. Ramen noodles compose the bun of a sandwich, then loaded with veggies, sauces and some degree of conventional noodle toppings.

This sublime sustenance drew long lines of customers wherever it was served in Torrence. According to his estimate, Shige’s vendor booth served nearly 1,000 burgers by the end of the day.

The First Annual Ramen Yokocho Fest will conclude with another full day of operation on Sunday, Sept 15.

Reach Editor-At-Large Graham Clark here. Follow him on Twitter here.



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