Friday, July 22, 2011

Where's the Beef? At the Ramen Bull Pop-up at Breadbar

Ramen is traditionally made with a pork broth, but at Ramen Bull, the pop-up restaurant at Breadbar, beef takes center stage.  Whether corned beef, ox tail, spicy beef, short rib or beef tongue, the ramen options at Ramen Bull are pork-free, beef focused and have no MSG. The menu was created by Chef Noriyuki Sugie, the consulting chef at Breadbar who is best known in the US for his role as opening chef at Asiate in New York City.

The meal begins with an amuse of fried ramen noodles with vinegar.  This may be a pop-up restaurant but Sugie is known for his precision and elegance and the touch of an amuse showed the promise of what was to come with the rest of the meal.

In addition to the soups, the meats featured in the ramen can be ordered as sides or toppings.  The ox tail ($6) was an irresistible order and it was served as a first course rather than a side.  The portion was generous and the meat was tender and falling off of the bone.  The ox tail meat had been imbued with the flavor of the sauce and was very rich.  It was worth the effort with my chopsticks to get every last morsel.

The Spicy Ramen ($14) also arrived in a large white bowl.  Like all the ramen choices, it was served with a marinated poached egg, fungi mushrooms and scallions.  The ground beef was legitimately spicy, but not overwhelmingly so.  With this soup, every spoonful had something to enjoy, whether mushrooms, scallions, beef or even simply the beef broth.  The ramen noodles themselves are key to the success of any ramen and these noodles were tender and soft, without too much chew.

With the beef tongue and corned beef ramen still yet untried, I suspect that I will be back soon to explore the rest of the menu.  Where else in LA can you get this level of cooking from a name chef with entrees at only $14-16?  Ramen Bull is only available at dinner Monday - Saturday and only at the 3rd Street location of Breadbar.  The vibe is decidedly casual, befitting a ramen restaurant, so if you are looking for a white tablecloth experience, be advised.  Sugie and his team also have created five house-made sodas including pineapple and hibiscus tea, each at $4.

I just received word that beginning on Monday, Sugie is adding Cold Ramen Consommé ($15) to the Ramen Bull menu. This cool soup is made with shredded beef short rib, beef consommé, sliced cucumber, radishes, peanut, arugula, coriander, and shishito peppers.  Now you can have your beef both hot and cold.

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


  1. Yeah. We need to get on this, post-haste. That photo of the spicy ramen will be calling out to my stomach until we finally go.