Hana-Ichimonme Spicy Champon Ramen = Champion Ramen
Tried Hanaichimonme for the 1st time on Monday. Went back today for the Spicy Champon. (Updates in my 2nd trip in parenthesis)
Sat down and asked what they recommend. They asked if I liked spicy, I said sure and they said to order the Spicy Champon.
Standard sized Ramen bowl however it was full of toppings. It was like the works with all these hidden treasures.
Stir Fried Vegetables (Cabbage, carrot, onion, and some crunchy black mushrooms found in hot and sour soup)
Sukiyaki style thin pork.
A myriad of seafood - Each bite I discovered something different. Kamaboko fish cake here, bay shrimp there, another bite I discover some Manila Clams and in another bite some squid. The Manila clams were a nice touch.
Then I tasted the broth. Amazing! It was tonkotsu broth, I was psyched. If I knew they made a tonkotsu (pork bone) soup base, I would have tried them much earlier. The broth is better than Daikokuya with more richness and flavor. Don't get me wrong, I love Daikokuya and their Kurobuta pork. I do feel if it wasn't for the pureed garlic jar there that I usually put in, the flavor is a little on the thin side.
I'm a big fan of tonkotsu ramen. I learned today that Hakata Ramen is the style name for tonkotsu. My experiences with tonkotsu ramen are at Daikokuya in Little Tokyo, Shinsengumi Hakata Ramen in Rosemead, and Ramen House Ryowa in Berkeley.
Since I ordered spicy it was very spicy with chili oil and kimchee spices. The noodle is thinner than I like but good. I'm not sure how their regular pork slices are in their Hakata Ramen and will likely not compare to Daikokuya and Santoka Ramen which few places can compete, however this seafood pork vegetable ramen with the tonkotsu soup was wonderful. (Got a side of their roast pork today, thicker slices and a little on the salty side. Daikokuya and Santoka are still at the top for their pork)
Large portions. It was so good I finished it all. No need to order anything else since you won't have any room for it in your stomach.
I'll definitely be back. I'm not sure if I'll order anything else other than the Champon there. What a great combination of seafood in a tonkotsu broth.
Please note my recommendation is for the Spicy Champon Ramen and Champon Ramen only. I can't vouch for the other ramen styles since I haven't tried them. (It's like going to Philippe's and ordering the beef and not ordering either the lamb or pork, you just have to know what to order.)
They make a good iced coffee and serve beer and sake.
Spicy Champon Ramen $6.95
3rd Floor inside Mitsuwa Building
333 S. Alameda St., #303
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Business Hours: Lunch & Dinner
11:15am - 8:00pm
11:15am - 3:00pm (Wed)
this is an often overlooked place because of the cutesy laqured bowl decor, fake sakura and japanese umbrella motif. it almost doesn't feel like a ramen shop, more like a quaint teriyaki place or something, but yes it does serve ramen and it's not altogether bad. i usually get the kaisen (seafood) ramen from here; nothing traditional about it but it's a decent bowl. i even like their little tsukemono accompaniment. never tried their champon, but i'll have to investigate.
not to nitpick, but hakata ramen isn't quite "the" style name for tonkotsu ramen; it's one of many styles of tonkotsu, but arguably the most popular style for sure, from a place in Japan called "Hakata".
good call! i always forget about this place...