100 Favorite OC Dishes, #55: Tsukemen at Kitakata Ramen Ban Nai

Once you've finished your noodles, add the liquid to your leftover broth and enjoy.EXPAND
Once you've finished your noodles, add the liquid to your leftover broth and enjoy.
Christopher Toland

In a county dominated by tonkotsu broth, Kitakata's bowls of ramen are a serious blessing, especially as we get beat down by the ever-intensifying summer heat. This isn't one of those thick milky Lipitor popping seas that you're used to, but rather a no-nonsense, clear pork bone and soy-based broth as refreshing for your belly as it is for your cholesterol levels.

Order the tsukemen ramen, their signature dipping-style dish that emphasizes Kitakata's uniquely flat, wide and curly hand-crimped noodles which you can get hot or cold. Each bowl is accompanied by an array of veggies and five immaculate slices of meltingly tender toro-chashu that will last 'til your final bite. Regardless, squeeze some lime on your noodles with a fancy citrus press, add in grated daikon and ginger to your concentrated broth, grab some bouncy noodles and slurp away—the louder the better.

P.S.: Parking in Kitakata's lot at dinner is a mess. Thanks to Edwin, we now know you can park in the Newport-Mesa Unified offices behind the plaza if the main lot is full. Have fun!

Kitakata Ramen Ban Nai, 891 Baker St., Ste. B21, Costa Mesa, (714) 557-2947; ramenbannai.com

The List:

56. Ten Zaru Soba at Tanakaya 
57. Pink Cloud Sandwich at Alicia's Cookery 
58. Homemade Super Nachos at Taqueria Los Santos
59. Strawberry Banana Croissant at Cream Pan 
60. Pla Duk Phat Phet at Vientiane Thai Laos Restaurant 
61. Risotto Con Burrata at Taverna 
62. Pineapple Float at Jollibee 
63. Szechuan Fries at Wok N Tandoor 
64. Banh Xeo at Quan Mii 
65. Chanko Nabe at Torizo 
66. Hamshuka from Hummus Bowl 
67. The Reuben at A Market 
68. Everything Cake from Slice Deli And Cakery 
69. Spicy Shrimp And Eggplant from Brio Tuscan Grille
70. Crawfish Mac & Cheese from The Wharf
71. Malasadas from Dough Doughs Hawaiian Cafe 
72. Salsas from Salsa Bandolera 
73. Chorizo Breakfast Bagel at Spigas Bakery and Cafe 
74. Whole Chicken Combo at Falafelo  
75. Toothpick Lamb at Sichuan Impression 
76. Hainan Chicken Rice at Baos Hog 
77. Fruit- and Ice Cream-Topped Waffles at Crave 
78. Garlic Shrimp Poke at Costco 
79. Chimichurri Fries at Piaggo on Wheels 
80. Torta Cubana at Cancun Juice 
81. Adobo Bowl at Irenia 
82. Garlic Noodles at Krave Asian Fusion 
83. Broccolini at SeaSalt WoodFire Grill 
84. Spicy Tuna Roll at Yard House 
85. Amber Roll at Orange Roll and Sushi 
86. Frito Chili Cheeseburger at Burger Parlor 
87. Maui Sunrise at The Original Banzai Bowls 
88. Meals from The Performance Kitchen 
89. Pizza-Sized Quesadilla at Los Sanchez
90. Filipino Brunch at EATS Kitchen And Bar
91. Mexican Chocolate at the Pie Hole 
92. Biscuits at James Republic 
93. Mushroom Flatbread with Kale and Kumquat Salad at Lemonade 
94. Mexican-Style Gelatins from Santa Ana's Gelatina Goddess 
95. Hot Pastrami Caesar Salad at Bruxie
96. Jalapeño Pupusas at Las Cazuelas
97. Meatball Sliders at Fresh Brothers
98. Buffalo Cauliflower at Mead's Green Door Cafe
99. Raindrop Cake at Sunmerry Bakery
100. Doughrito at Surfin' Donuts

Upcoming Events

Sponsor Content


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >