I am slowly falling in love with downtown LA. Before I never cared for it, until I had to go to work in the area and was forced to find things to do and places to eat during my free time. Little Tokyo is definitely my favorite spot right now. Well duh, there’s nothing but ramen there! And I’ve grown to like taking the metro from Pasadena to LA. It still freaks me out from time to time a thug-lookin’ fellow sits across from me, but for the most part, nothing happens.
Maybe it’s because I can look like a thug myself…
“Riding on the metrooooooo…”
Sean and I took the metro down to Little Tokyo to meet up with my cousin, Michelle. Michelle is like the cool, older cousin that has great stories of her youth, and even though she may not always be a good example, I definitely learn a lot from her. We met up at Weller Court, located at 123 Astronaut East South Onizuka Street. (I got lost trying to find the place my first time.) But don’t get confused with that, just know that the shopping center is located on the south corner of East 2nd Street and South San Pedro Street, on the second level.
The last time I went to Orochon was not a good experience, but I had to give this place another chance. A third chance, I’ll have you know. This place was featured on Man vs. Food and apparently Adam Richman made it on the Wall of Bravery. Watch Adam cry and sweat over ramen: Man vs. Food: Orochon Ramen
View of LA City Hall from Weller Court.
The levels of spiciness
Can’t have ramen without a pint of ice-cold Kirin Ichiban beer
OROCHON GAME FACES
Challenger #1 – Michelle, “The Moody Menace”
Challenger #2 – Sean “The Irish Car Bomb”
Challenger #3 – Joan… I can’t think of a clever name for myself.
None of us that night was going to attempt getting on the Wall of Bravery. I don’t know if I ever will, but I do intend on getting spicier ramen every time I go there. Along with spicy levels, you can choose what broth flavors (soy, miso, etc.,) and toppings. I ordered the level 4, Michelle ordered IMPACT and Sean ordered HYPER. But we made our own challenge anyway. You’re probably wondering how we would determine the winner if everyone ordered different levels. I guess it could be decided upon the quantity consumed.
So who did win the Orochon challenge? Technically it would be Sean since he chose the spiciest soup base of them all, but he didn’t even finish half of it! Michelle on the other hand, finished most of her bowl, so she probably beat Sean in heat-tolerance. I didn’t even get to my broth, so I already knew I lost.
I was very pleased with my ramen at Orochon this time. I really liked the flavors and the pork didn’t taste funky like the last time I was there. The spiciness was tolerable, but I just couldn’t down the spicy broth especially since we sat outside where it was hot. That and I was seriously stuffed.
After ramen, we did our usual coffee and dessert at the Japanese Village Plaza, a few blocks away from Weller Court.
Fruity Pebbles Donut Holes
Michelle sharing another story of her youth
Sean drinking his vanilla latte from Café Dulcé
Café Dulcé makes amazing lattes, as you can tell from my facial expression
We thought about going to Seven Grand, a whisky bar in LA, (because whisky sounded good after just having coffee) but Michelle had to catch the last metro home to Santa Monica. It was a great night with great company and great food.
I don’t think I can get tired of Little Tokyo just yet, there is still more ramen to be had in that area. But I have a feeling it will take a while for me to get out of my comfort zone with Shin Sen Gumi and my need to increase spicy levels at Orochon.
Thanks for reading!