The past two days were quite eventful! I’ve been pretty busy with music and I’m really excited about everything going on.
Yesterday, I started out with recording a music video with an upcoming artist, Suzanne Elise. Keep an eye out for this girl because she’s got a lot of talent!
After the video shoot, I headed over to Entourage Studio in North Hollywood. I’ve been playing a lot with the Matthew Jude Band and we finally recorded our first single. We had planned to have dinner out there before recording. A violinist that I work with, Shalini, told me about a place in Studio City called Ramen Jinya. I found that it was not far from the studio so I thought it would be a great time for a ramen run, with the Matthew Jude Band!
We arrived at about 7:30 and there was no line. But as soon as we were seated, a big crowd arrived. That always seemed to happen! Anyway, I asked for us to be seated at the bar so everyone can watch the chefs in action. The kitchen looked pretty clean and everything smelled really good! The one thing that concerned me was… there was not a single Japanese chef in the kitchen. I saw one Asian-looking dude walk into the kitchen but I think he was a server. Our server was an Asian woman at least.
Nothing against non-Asians cooking in a Japanese restaurant, but the ramen usually doesn’t taste “authentic.” That was what happened in San Diego in my last blog post.
Jinya had three specialty ramens and it was nice that they gave you the option on how you want your noodles, either thick or thin. I ordered their Jinya Tonkotsu Black with thin noodles. The ramen included chashu, kikurage, (mushroom) green onion, cabbage, dried seaweed, seasoned egg, garlic chips and garlic oil.
I thought that the combination of toppings were really good. I think I would have liked the soft boiled egg more if the first bite of it wasn’t cold. I had to let it sit in the broth for a few minutes to warm up. The noodles had a nice, firm texture and tasted good. The chashu was very tender and the broth had a lot of flavor. What I didn’t like about the ramen was that the broth was very oily and I think they use a little bit of MSG. There was a slimy after taste in the broth which usually meant that it had MSG. And it was confirmed when my right leg swelled up after dinner and I had a slight headache.
You’re probably familiar with Matt by now. He’s that guy that randomly shows up in my blogs and orders the same spicy ramen every, single time. But he ordered their Tonkotsu Original and he seemed to have liked it. Sean, our bass player, has never been to a ramen restaurant but has tried ramen elsewhere. He also ordered the Tonkotsu Original and said that it was the best ramen he’s ever had!
We also brought along a few others who preferred not to have their photos taken. Alex, our manager, ordered the Tonkotsu Spicy. (The photo I took of it looked really weird so I didn’t post it.) I had a taste of her broth and it was quite good. You feel the heat a few seconds after your sip. The spiciness didn’t overpower the tonkotsu which is a good thing, I like being able to taste both. I’d have to try their spicy ramen again another time. Rick, our videographer, also ordered the original and said he liked it as well. How can you not like ramen?!
Matt thought that I should make videos for my ramen runs. I never really liked the idea of filming myself while eating. But here’s the first or maybe the only ramen run video you will ever see…
Like I said, it really worried me that there was not a single Japanese chef, let alone, an Asian working in the kitchen. But the ramen was actually quite good. I don’t think I would drive out of my way to have ramen here, but if I’m ever in the area, I would definitely give this place another try. The service was not too bad, our server was pretty attentive from what I recall. Thanks Shalini, for the recommendation!
After dinner, we headed to Entourage to record our first single!
Recording the first single was such a fun and rewarding experience! The producer we worked with was awesome and he transformed the song into something we never would have imagined. He’s a drummer too and I learned so much from him in two days! We also got to meet some amazing studio musicians and vocalists. (Sorry, I can’t remember their names!) I really can’t wait to share the single with everyone! Check out Matthew Jude’s Facebook page or official website for updates on the single’s release and upcoming shows!
Thanks for reading!
Jinya Ramen Bar
11239 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604
The restaurant is in a shopping complex, with their own parking lot and also parking underneath.