Food + Culture
The popularity of ramen is partially fueled by some of the famous ramen chains from Japan opening locations throughout the West Coast and in California (Santouka, Ikkousha, Tatsunoya, to Mensho) to the East, in New York (Ichiran to Ippudo). These chains have set a high benchmark for ramen in the U.S.
Unfortunately, none of them are currently in Colorado, and Greg can’t live without ramen. Not having that level of ramen is why Greg decided to take on the challenge with his humble and earnest attempt (not a smart move to use your surname when you run the risk of sucking) to present ramen that reflects the level of craft and focus only found in an authentic Japanese ramen shop. #thestruggleisreal
These regional varieties of ramen are just like the regional styles of a thin crust or deep dish pizza, a creamy clam chowder versus tomato, or the type of cheese used in a Philly cheesesteak. None of the variations are the right way, but each style reflects the culture, history, and tastes of each region. (BTW, the answers: clearly NY, New England, and provolone when sober and Cheez Whiz after a night of drinking).
Each Japanese style of ramen comprises of these five elements, and they are essential to producing the same flavors and experience found in Japan. These details are what gives each ramen ya (ramen shop) their distinctive edge over the guesstimated 6-10k in Tokyo, to an overall number of 50,000 plus ramen shops throughout Japan.
Illustrations are by WAttention Los Angeles. Bottom illustration is by the Ramen Lab, NY