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Nov 12, 2013 06:20 PM

Ken Ramen on 19th in OC

any good ????

also, has anyone been to sushi shibucho in roughly the same mini-mall recently ?????


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  1. I haven't been but a Japanese friend said he liked it and felt it was closer than most places to what he enjoys in Japan (where he lives about half the year.)

    Shibucho is still good, but I haven't been wowed by their product. I usually choose the nearby Nana San over it unless I really want battera, but don't want to or can't make it to Kasen.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Eater15

      Funny. I checked my source from Fukuoka and she was not impressed by Ken Ramen. Our ramen tastes usually line up.

      I'm not a fan of tonkotsu broth these days so that's the only thing holding me back from trying it myself.

      1. re: Porthos

        Tonkotsu is where the broth almost turns to custard, right ?

        Have you been to Sushi Shibucho Costa Mesa nearby recently ?

        1. re: kevin

          Nope. Place serves solid B grade sushi and the biggest draw is that it is cheap ($65 omakase). Good stuff is saved for Japanese patrons only. Quality at Kasen is higher all around for $20 more. The quality of the toro and lean bluefin is easily better at Kasen. No comparison. Kasen gets my vote. Let's put it this way, I would not recommend it for a sushi enthusiast visiting from out of town but I have recommended Kasen twice to out of towners with good results. Even in OC it is at least #3 or lower.

          1. re: Porthos

            You mean the B grade stuff is served to common folks like me, right ? but The Japanese customers will still get the A grade stuff or even they will only be limited to maybe B+ goods ????

            What would be number 2 in OC ?

            Do you like that joint in the Crystal Cove ? Blue something ?

            It's by abe, who used to have a joint a mile from the beach called restauranat abe which is now a sushi bar again, ironically.

            1. re: kevin

              I think that place is capable of at best, B+ sushi. It certainly is no Mori, Shunji, or even Kiriko. I think Bluefin (the place in Crystal Cove) has higher quality fish, albeit at twice the price. Ikko is probably better (never been) and the quality of the fish at Murasaki is at least as good. Murasaki also does some pretty good cooked stuff. I have had broiled bluefin collar, matsutake dobinmushi, Japanese beef and vegetable soup, etc. Unless you like that gruff itame stuff, there really isn't a reason to go to Shibucho.

          2. re: kevin

            Yes tonkotsu style ramen is where the broth is milky and usually very heavy in fat due to an emulsion of broken down bone material, fat, and collagen. An indicator of a decent tonkotsu broth is that it will most definitely set like custard even at room temperature, which is why it's usually served lava hot, sometimes with a slick of hot fat ladled on top to further insulate it.

      2. Eh, it's a pretty run of the mill place. Flavors were pretty bland, noodles were average. It's ok if you are driving by and really want ramen, but driving a little bit more will get you better.

        1 Reply
        1. re: kdoc

          Thank goodness for replying. Was about to go in the next hour. Appreciate it!