Category Archives: Ramen

The Orochon Challenge: 3 Men VS 1 Food

On this corner, with an aggressive doubles strategy and a gazelle-like movement on court-Juan “Jolly Green” Flores.


On another seat, with a tested doubles prowess and cheetah -like court speed-Deo “The Coach” Sy .


And on the other side, with a multi-faceted serve and an unconventional forehand power-Joseph “Bebe” Villafuerte.


The challenge: finish the SPECIAL #2 in 30minutes  (the spiciest Ramen in LA and featured in Man vs Food) at Orochon Ramen and get your face and name on their wall of fame.


It seemed like a daunting task for three of our tennis fanatics, but there was no turning back. Reputation was at stake and egos were not about to get hurt easily. YES is a YES, and no chickens were coming out of their coops tonight. The air was thick with testosterone as we took our seats and waited for these fire bowls to come out of the kitchen. The challengers were pumped up; chopsticks on one hand and milk on the other. And it was evident that they were all willing to slurp to win.

The bowls came out full to the brim with a deadly red broth mixed with fiery jalapenos, serranos, and a secret recipe of powdered spices. A side bet was made. Alliances were formed. The crowd was ready to spectate. Strategies began. Ready, set, go!

And into the halfway point we were made aware that these boys were here to battle. The wear and tear started to show, but none owned up to it. The sweats and tears may have come out but losers, we saw, they were not.

Juan-was taking it slowly but surely.

Deo-paced himself beautifully.


Joe-speed was his strategy and began the attack on his chilies.

Almost 30min was up and we were sure of a winner. He was not a quitter, devouring the ramen without even a sliver of doubt and drinking the broth as if it were only water. The rest have stopped, as if to say, “we no longer stand a chance”. The diners started staring, as if in amazement of the surefire achievement. The waitstaff readied to press that button on their camera to capture this expected victory.

Then the body suddenly gave up and fought back with the natural means of extracting the violence inside a very disturbed stomach. The bags came out (and the rest will be left to imagination). With only 2mins left and 2 spoonfuls inside the bowl, we declared a winner between the three, but sadly-no winner for Orochon this very spicy Saturday night.


With maybe a picture of the trials and not of the wins. Surely, this will be enough to be posted on my blog, for now. This is dedicated to those that have tried and failed, for the next picture taken will then be up at that wall, beaming, proud and steady. Just like a passing forehand, an inside-out backhand, or an overhead smash. Joe will have his chance another time to finally finish, as they say his third time might be the charm.

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Filed under Challenge, Japanese Food, Ramen, Related Article, Soup

Daikokuya Ramen (Initial Post for the Examiner)

Comfort food is all about indulging to one’s craving and hunger pain. And there’s nothing more comforting than a big, bowl of hot soup, especially on a cold winter day. Visit Daikokuya Ramen when you feel the need to give in to your comfort.

Daikokuya Ramen in Little Tokyo, Downtown LA, serves one the most delicious bowls around. This bowl is not the typical 99-cent ramen one can get at the local supermarket. The broth alone is a product of hours of boiling pork bones and joints until the flavor becomes intense, but that’s not yet enough. It is then mixed with their special soy sauce based mix so that the flavor is completely embedded in every spoonful. The dense broth and the ramen noodles simply come together in sync. But the soup does not overpower the rest of the players inside this bowl. Each order comes with kurobuta pork belly chashu that is tender enough to melt in one’s mouth. And as if the pork is not indulgent enough, Daikokuya adds marinated boiled egg, bamboo shoots, green onion, and a touch of sesame seeds to complete the offer.

But Daikokuya is more than the bowl of comfort. They also offer a multitude of appetizers; from the crispy gyoza (their version of Chinese dumplings) to Japanese sausages filled with their famous kurobuta pork. They also serve rice bowls and bento box combination if a huge bowl of ramen is not enough for the complaining stomach. Order either a diet coke or Asahi (yes, they serve alcohol) to wash the goodness down and one is set and ready to curl up in bed for the rest of the day.

So when that craving hits, either after a night of over-indulging in the diuretic called alcohol or upon waking up on a cold, rainy day, Daikokuya is a sure fire hit to comfort that rumbling stomach and ease the salivating palate back into a calm with a certain sigh of relief. Just come hungry and ready to slurp.

Daikokuya Ramen is at 327 E 1st St Los Angeles CA 90012. T: (213)626-1680. Don’t worry about bringing cash, they accept all major credit cards.

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Filed under Dumplings, Japanese Food, Ramen, Related Article, Sausages, Soup