Hokkaido Fair at Mitsuwa, Sept. 28-Oct. 1, 2007 (moved from Tristate)
Thanks to a post on the Los Angeles board by the aptly named rameniac, my first stop at the Edgewater Mitsuwa was the counter offering miso ramen from Sumire, a famous shop from Sapporo. Make that the back of the 20-person line leading to the counter, even at 11:20 on Friday morning. Many of the folks ahead of me were ordering the miso-corn-butter ramen, which is limited to just 100 orders at day. I managed to score a bowl, too, though if I'd taken a slightly later bus from Port Authority, I might have missed out.
Glad I didn't (see photo below). Though I'm a ramenovice, I liked the rich, slightly sweet broth and the firm noodles. The toppings were sparing (the styrofoam bowl even more so) and the pork, not as fatty as it might have been, but then there was the butter... Seems like such a little touch, but wow.
Also at the fair: the ika meshi, simmered squid stuffed with rice, did nothing for me. In the fried-food aisle of the festival, the pumpkin croquette (actually acorn squash, I think) was wonderful, while the crab wasn't bad; the scallop shumai and some sort of fish cake were OK. So was a squid ball covered with tiny cubes of fried potato, whose name I didn't catch. (Perhaps someone else can identify it; for all my photos from Saturday, see http://www.flickr.com/photos/eatingin...)
The baked curry bun, crisp outside, was filled with a barely viscous sauce and a couple of large chunks of potato; small wonder they had a steady line. The melon bun line was more sporadic, but only because they kept selling out and had to replenish their trays; gentle but unmissable aroma and flavor; fluffy body. A pair of mochi rice balls wrapped in sweet red beans (one with, one without the skins) were a little heavy-handed, but only by comparison. The fresh milk soft ice cream was well-named; a little sour, in an unspoiled way.
Oh, and in the seafood aisle, I had a few tastes of this and that, too. Fortunately, I had skipped breakfast. As it turned out, I skipped dinner, too.
The Hokkaido Fair runs through Monday. I may not return so soon, but I'd consider having a look at Mitsuwa's so-called Yummy Fair at the end of October.
21515 Western Av, Torrance, CA 90501