Irvinites know that the name Mick is usually followed by the words Karma Bar. While one of the best burgers in the county (just ask the 300 covers they average at lunch), Michael Schepers is also known for his constant flow of ideas. What a lot of you might not know, however, is that he also oversees a noodle concept adjacent to Karma Bar. Fideo doesn’t pigeonhole themselves to one region. It covers a number of tastes from multiple origins. He doesn’t joke around either. If you inquire about the food, you’ll get a serious breakdown of his process. This is how he responds when asked about the lamb ragu.
“Dried chiles are toasted and soaked in water, then ground with garlic and almonds. Paste is fried, to which the water of the chiles is added. Chunks of lamb are browned with black pepper, then onions are added and bloomed with the dry spices. Tamarind water is then added, as well as the chile, garlic and almond liquid. That’s mixed on low for 20 minutes. Then slow cooked at 160 Fahrenheit for 12 hours.” That’s before you’re even served the finished product over fresh ramen.
Fideo garnishes your bowl ‘o lamb deliciousness with pickled mustard greens, mint, spring onions, cilantro, nuts and lime. Don’t think it’s spicy enough? You’re encouraged to add the heat, as the majority of their dishes are meant to strike the senses with depth of flavor (not clear your sinuses). And where is this dish inspired from? “Kind of like a Himalayan rogan josh before they had the tomato crop.” Thanks for the culinary lesson, Michael!
Fideo by Mick, 2010 Main St., Ste. 170, Irvine, (949) 280-0326.
A contributing writer for OC Weekly, Anne Marie freelances for multiple online and print publications, and guest judges for culinary competitions. A Bay Area transplant, she graduated with a degree in Hospitality Management from Cal Poly Pomona. Find her on Instagram as brekkiefan.