After the uncalled for Japanese culture bashing that occurred in the last post, I’m going to about face and show you why I love the land of the rising sun. The beloved entrance that is usually packed with hungry eager diners waiting hours just to grab a bowl of warm decadent ramen. Funny thing, the other day I asked some people from Nebraska if they would like to eat at a ramen restaurant. Surprisingly, I got a blank and empty stare back, “what do you mean ramen? you mean the instant kind?” I was just shocked. (BTW, they weren’t very open to the idea of quality ramen, and opted to grab burgers and corned beef hash from an Irish bar).

It just reminds me what Anthony Bourdain had to say about American Tourists:

“Do we really want to travel in hermetically sealed popemobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafes and McDonalds? Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria’s mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head? I know what I want. I want it all. I want to try everything once.”

Be a traveler, not a tourist.

And now, a gratuitous Hirata Pork Bun montage.

Now if only these $4 bad boys hit a recession and dropped to a buck. Oh the possibilities. Tiny hand held bites of heaven that I thought was only reserved to Bagel Bites on a nice afternoon of television watching after school. I’m salivating just thinking about these bodacious buns. Ippudo’s ability to always offer something new by changing their menu every season, and offer daily “special ramen”  like the one pictured above, keeps me on my toes and longing to return. Back to the special ramen, a tonkotsu soup with special blended hot spices, with pork chasu, kikurage, onion, ground pork and scallions, along with my added touch of corn. Abso-freaking-lutely delicious.

The next couple of photos were taken on other trips to Ippudo. I guess it shows that not once have I been disappointed with the food. Spicy Cod Roe Over RiceAnother bowl of delicious ramen.The Shishito peppers at Ippudo can probably be considered by favorite side of all time.

I’ll see you guys later, I have to make it to Ippudo before that line starts to grow.

Ippudo Scores:
Food: 9/10 – They excel at everything they do, and I’m one to appreciate it.

Restaurant Environment: 6/10 – Great ambience, but hate the wait.

Service: 8/10 – I swear they have a designated water filler.

Value: 7/10 – In the words of McDonalds, I wish I could be a dollar-menuaire for Hirata Buns at Ippudo

Overall: 8/10


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