Thursday, December 4, 2008

Ajisen Ramen -- Hot and Brothy

Ajisen Ramen
2700 Alton Parkway Irvine, CA 92606
(949) 833-3288

Ajisen Ramen opened at Diamond Jamboree with much aplomb and it shows with the number of customers waiting patiently for a table. We arrived early to avoid the lunch rush, but by midday, the line had already formed outside. The menu is vast and varied requiring more time than usual to sift through the offerings. Staff are impatient and pounce on your as soon as you've sat down to take your order but don't let them hurry you. Take your time to decide.

Spicy Pork Ramen was not spicy at all. In fact, it was a mild tasting broth with slices of chashu similar to that at Santouka except there was less fat.

Premium Pork Ramen had the best flavor in terms of broth and they were very generous with the pork. It was silky and moist served in thin slices -- almost with the consistency of it being shaved.

Spicy Beef Ramen was again not spicy, but there was a drizzling of spicy hot oil to give it the illusion that it was spicy. The broth was hearty and flavorful and the beef looked like chunks you would get in a bowl of niu rou mien, or Taiwanese style beef noodles.

There are lunch specials which consists of 5 or 6 types of ramen to choose from plus a side of either agedashi tofu, gyoza, corn salad or cucumber with krab salad.

Bowls of ramen were around $9 which is pretty pricey for what you get. The ramen noodles itself was subpar tasting like the ones you'd get from a packet you can purchase from the grocery store. The broth is what stands out at Ajisen. It is flavorful, robust, yet not overly salty or overly greasy. Ajisen's ramen remains mediocre until they get the consistency of the noodles right.


Judy said...

did you know Ajisen is a chain from Japan? I even saw it in the HK airport

melissa said...

You have a blog! Woohoo!

Thanks for the review on this, just saw it on your Yelp. I was wondering if this spot would be any good.

Lady Who Lunches said...

Judy: I heard that they have the most locations in China believe it or not.

Melissa: I thought it was a nice addition in Irvine, although, I didn't care for the ramen so much. I liked the broth though, but it was kinda pricey at almost $10.