Friday, March 21, 2014

Ramen Yokocho 2014: The Biggest Ramen Festival in the U.S. Is Back

Well we love Ramen so are pretty excited about this. If your dreams often take place in Shinagawa ramen joints, elbows down on a tiny counter, noodles slurped alongside drunk companions seated under the low clouds coming off vats of tonkotsu broth, then you'll be overjoyed to know that Ramen Yokocho - billed as the largest ramen festival in the U.S. - is returning to Los Angeles. Specifically, Sat. March 29 and Sun., March 30, at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia. The ramen shops coming to this next festival include, from Los Angeles, Jidaiya, Men Oh Tokushima, Daikokuya, Fujin, Hayatemaru and Shin-Sen-Gumi; Hiromaru and Monta from Las Vegas; Shalala from San Jose; Tajima from San Diego; and, all the way from Japan, Tatsunoya, Horaiya, Mattou Seimen and Tsujita Tokyo. If that last one sounds really familiar that's because you've probably spent many an hour in line outside the Tsujita on Sawtelle, the L.A. outpost of the Tokyo shop. And of course, many minutes inside, consuming excellent ramen and tsukemen. So now's your chance to get all of this, for $8 a bowl, under the looming San Gabriel Mountains and permanent sunny skies. Because although slurping hot soup might indeed be more fun in the Tokyo wintertime, all weather is ramen weather at this point. The event will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days; on Saturday, there will also be things to do other than noodle-eating, namely Japan Family Day and the Tokyo City Cup. Entry to the festival is $5, although those under 17 get in free.

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