When I heard the news, it was like Christmas in October. Yamadaya, the renowned LA ramen shop, will open store No. 3 in Orange County in late November. There are plans afoot to open a fourth location in Westwood in December, maybe in time for actual Christmas.
We told you this March about the physics-defying soup, as super-saturated with pork as a liquid can be. We pleaded to our local ramenyas to step up with an extra-fatty kotteri soup like Yamada-san's, and it turns out Yamada himself picked up our gauntlet.
We spoke with Tony, the manager of the original shop in Torrance, who informs us the menu will be the same as the already-existing locations'. You can choose from two thicknesses of noodles to put into your tonkotsu soup, Orange County's de facto regional style of ramen. (Yamadaya's instantly slots in as next year's Best Of candidate.) The soup can be flavored with salt, soy sauce or, if your arteries are up to the challenge, the kotteri style, which has extra liquid lard studded with white droplets of marrow and se-abura, delicious tiny tears of fat from the loin of the animal.
In addition, Tony informs us, the Costa Mesa store will have a beer-and-wine license, so you can properly wash down your gyoza and noodles with a cold Sapporo. The restaurant will seat approximately 50 guests. Judging from the lunchtime lines at the similarly sized Culver City location, you'd better get there early to assure yourself a seat.
It has been seven years since I dubbed Costa Mesa Ramentown USA. Several ramen shops in town have folded since then, but with Yamadaya sticking its flag in the 92626, Costa Mesa reclaims that title with authority.
So interwebs, what have we learned today? Whispering your deepest desires to the universe, or, at least, whining to nobody in particular via your blog will sometimes get your wish granted. Now if only Heather Graham would meet us for a bowl of kotteri soup in Costa Mesa . . .
Ramen Yamadaya, 1175 Baker St., Costa Mesa; ramen-yamadaya.com.