Costa Mesa, OC's Ramen Town, lost one a few months ago when Kohryu, one of the more beloved noodle shops whose signature was caramelized green onions in its broth, closed up.
But we don't call it Ramen Town for nothing. Now a new ramen shop has popped up in its place. Called Kitakata Ramen Ban Nai, this is the first U.S. store of a chain that has about 60 locations in Japan.
It's named after the city from which it originated.
Here's the description from its website:
Kitakata Ramen, one of the Big 3 Local Ramen of Japan (the other 2 are Sapporo and Hakata), is from a very small city of Kitakata of northern Japan. Although the population of Kitakata city is only approx. 51,000, there are more than 130 Ramen eateries and 4,000 "Kura", breweries of local Sake, Shoyu (Soy Sauce), and Miso (fermented bean paste). Kitakata Ramen is widely known and beloved for its distinctive noodle, made by local noodle manufactures, and flavorful soup made with the mountain spring water from neighboring Iide Mountain. "Ban Nai" is the most popular and well-known eatery of Kitakata Ramen with history for over half a century. With flat, wide and hand-crumpled curly noodle, clear but flavorful broth, and signature "Toro Chashu", Kitakata Ramen Ban Nai has been providing the real Kitakata Ramen.
The website has the full menu with prices.