Thursday, June 10, 2010

Soup for You: Yatai Ramen Twist @ Breadbar 3rd Street

A stretch of Third Street near Robertson has been transformed into Shibuya for the duration of Yatai Ramen Twist, the pop up ramen bar at BreadBar Third Street in the evenings now until July 24. Yatai is a collaboration between Chefs Nori Sugie and Kazuo Shimamura, both of Sugie's Ironnori Concepts, featuring both traditional and modern/twists on ramen.

The door to Breadbar is festooned with a bright red noren (Japanese door covering) with the word Ramen on it. The menu is short and simple. Just four types of traditional ramen, four "twist" ramen options and either pork or vegetable gyoza (potstickers). Yatai is BYO, so feel free to bring a bottle of wine, beer or sake.

The menu is not meant to be complicated as Yatai is named after the term used for mobile roadside food/drink stands in Japan. They are popular with salaryman for an afterwork bite to eat and drink and typically have limited menus, with ramen being a staple.

I began my meal with the kale gyoza (pictured above). They were served with the traditional dipping sauce made with soy sauce, rice vinegar and sesame oil. The gyoza had a nice crunch to them from the kale and absorbed the tasty dipping sauce nicely. They come 5-6 to an order and are $8.

Although it was hard to choose between the oxtail and the foie gras ramen, I opted for the oxtail ramen (pictured above) which included "rich oxtail soup, truffle oil, marinated poached egg." The broth was rich and hot and the truffle oil taste came through. The oxtail was rich and fatty and there were large chunks of it attached to the bone and floating in the broth. The ramen noodles were al dente and a bit chewy and very long. This dish was $14 and quite filling. A sheet of nori, the thin dried sheet of seaweed, jutted out of the bowl (on the right in the photo), perhaps as a nod to Chef Nori who had been the opening chef at the luxe Asiate restaurant in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in the Time Warner Center in Manhattan before moving to Los Angeles to collaborate with BreadBar.

The full menu is here, courtesy of Thrillist. The traditional ramen options are $10 - $11, while the twist ones, range in price from $12 for the vegetarian tomato ramen to $18 for the foie gras ramen.

On Tuesday evening they sold out of ramen shortly after 8 pm, so come on the early side to ensure that you will not leave empty handed after being told "no soup for you." If you would like to sit indoors, reservations are essential. Reservations are taken on Open Table. Be sure to select BreadBar 3rd Street, not Century City.

Breadbar is located at 8718 W 3rd Street, just East of Robertson. Phone: (310) 205-0124. Website:

1 comment:

  1. Savory Hunter, your hands are really tied at a ramen house, where pork normally reigns supreme. Kale gyoza actually sound good to me, though the pig feet version will probably be what I order. You've been on a tear with your coverage lately.