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It was a sad day for college kids when Momofuku Ando died a few years ago, at age 97. Who the fuku, you might ask, was Momofuku? Well, the odds are you made this ramen king a very wealthy man. I certainly did.
At three packages for a dollar, you probably had no idea you were a trend setter, did ya?
OK, so now you’re an adult and your taste is supposed to change… but you still love those noodles. Thankfully, since ramen is so hot right now (pun very much intended), the only thing you have to give up is the stove; and you don’t even have to go to Japan to get the best of the best.
One of Japan’s most popular restaurants, Kitakata Ramen Ban Nai, expanded this month from their 57 locations in Japan, and opened one across the pond, in Costa Messa.
Though the original Ban Nai eatery started over half a century ago in Kitakata city, the flavors and style, like a fine wine, have only gotten better with time.
If you attended the Ramen Yokocho Festival in July and you were patient, you may have experienced these amazing flavors when tasting their famous Marbled Pork Belly Chashu. When you attend the new restaurant you’ll be able to choose from a wide selection of Gyozo, appetizers, meat bowls and their six types of ramen.
All you have to do now is toss out your .99 cent packets of noodles (inflation has struck since I was in college) and head to Kitakata Bannai Ramen, in Costa Messa. Momofuku Ando never had it so good.
By Amanda Blum
Amanda Blum writes and edits E.S.P. Eat. See. Play. lifestyle content for CBS Los Angeles.