Thursday, July 15, 2010

Yatai Ramen Twist @ Breadbar - Definitely NOT Worth It! (Los Angeles)

Yatai Ramen

Yatai Ramen Twist @ Breadbar

I promise I won't be too mean. It's something I had to repeat to myself as I was writing this blog entry. Maybe I just didn't get it? Or did I go on an off night? I mean, for the most part, I usually understand what makes a good ramen. I've visited the legendary Ramen Museum in Yokohama. I probably ate ramen at least 2-3 times a week when I lived in the South Bay area of Los Angeles. Frankly, it's soupy, meat based with noodles, so what's NOT to like about ramen?? Although I'll never be the ramen connoisseur like my buddy Keizo of GoRamen, I don't think I should ever leave a restaurant feeling I just got PUNK'D! goes!

Trio of Boba

Trio of Boba Drinks (Coconut, Coffee, and Chai) $4

Though the picture may show a quartet of boba drinks, there were only three choices. The boba were good, but it wasn't anything to write home about. I enjoyed the chai, though I'm not sure about the ginger in the coffee boba. Plus, I'm not sure why boba was the cold drink option here as boba is a TAIWANESE based drink.


Complimentary Bread from Breadbar

The bread was probably the best thing from dinner. The focaccia I had was delicious!

Cold Tofu

Cold Tofu

The cold tofu was actually pretty good. Cold, refreshing, though I thought it was served with freshly grated wasabi, but instead, it was grated ginger. Not memorable, but a nice starter nevertheless.

Pork GyozaKale Gyoza

Duo of Gyoza (Top: Pork Feet, Bottom: Kale) $8 for 5 pieces

Typically, I rarely order gyoza when I'm at a Ramen House, as I don't think it's ever worth the price (I come from the school of Chinese Potstickers. 10 big potstickers for $5). Now, while I thought both versions were adequate, as I enjoyed the kale more than the pork feet filling, I still think it's highway robbery charging $8 for 5 measly pieces. I repeat, $8 for 5 mediocre pieces of gyoza. A big meh.....

Spicy Miso RamenSpicy Miso Ramen

Spicy Miso Ramen

The flavors are there. The soup broth was spicy. Sadly, that's pretty much it. Although it was probably my favorite ramen of the night, it's not saying much. It's like me stating Adam Morrison is my favorite Laker because he doesn't play.

Ox Tail Ramen

Oxtail Ramen

I'll be nice and first state the amount of oxtail given was ample, so I was surprised with that part. The egg in the ramen was delicious as well. Now, to the bad. The soup base was too sweet, way too sweet in my opinion. This ramen had so much potential, but it fell flat on its face. The soup broth is the most important part of the ramen, and it was F-ed up. Sweet broth, no thanks!

Foie Gras Ramen

Foie Gras Ramen

I think I just got PUNK'D! $18 for this? Pretty much what you see here is a small piece of foie gras on top of some fairly pedestrian ramen. A true WTF did I just pay for kinda to say, I didn't care for this one.

Shoyu Ramen

Shoyu Ramen

This was the only ramen we ordered off the "Non-Twist" portion of the menu. While I liked the shoyu, it was pretty standard compared to other shoyu ramen found around Los Angeles. While tasty, it wasn't anything worth discussing.

Pork Curry Ramen

Pork Curry Ramen

A ramen that wasn't on the menu in the previous weeks of the Yatai Ramen Twist, was the pork curry ramen. I actually thought it was a pretty enjoyable bowl of ramen, and probably ranked similar to the spicy miso ramen I mentioned earlier. Though Japanese curry is probably one of my favorite things to eat as well as cook, so it's probably no surprise that I enjoyed this bowl of noodles. There, I'll be nice on one dish!

Yatai Ramen

At the end of the day, while this whole pop-up venture may work for some cuisines, the Yatai Ramen Twist was a total "meh" in my mind. Though there were a few bowls of noodles that I thought was pretty good, it just wasn't worth the money I paid for at the end of the meal. The service was fine, though we did wait a LONG time for our ramen noodles. For awhile there, I thought we were getting our ramen shipped from Japan.

Frankly, I should have known to stay away from ramen in West Hollywood, so I won't make the same mistake a second time. If you want a delicious and cheap bowl of ramen, stick with Santouka and Hakata Shin Sen Gumi, as those two places have never done me wrong. I could probably have avoided writing this post all together, but since the Yatai Ramen Twist will be going on through 7/24, hopefully I can save one person from trying this place out and experience ramen at a better place. It always pains me to have a bad meal, especially one that's overpriced as well.

When I was young, I was taught "If you have nothing good to say, you shouldn't say anything at all," but I'll stray this time and proclaim, avoid Yatai Ramen Twist!

Oh ya, one more thing. If you're looking for a hot bowl of noodle ramen, I think you're at the wrong place also. Even though our group did take pictures, the soup broth was lukewarm at best. I doubt the time we used to take pictures caused that issue. Lukewarm ramen broth = FAIL!

“Yatai Ramen Twist” at Breadbar
8718 W. Third Street
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 205-0124
Official Website

Yatai Ramen at Breadbar in Los Angeles on Fooddigger


L said...

FTC! Holla!

Although I tend to refrain from negative opinions when blogging (I omit the name or keep it neutral and provide obvious hints) I find it refreshing to see that you did take this step, and put your opinion out there.

In reality, many people had a negative experience, and although it sounds cliche? Maybe they need to hear this from enough people, so that next time (if there is a next time) they can get their stuff together!

Ramen is subjective, I still love Daikokuya, but with so many options within LA and the South Bay? No excuse for mediocre ramen.

Great post!

food je t'aime said...

I went opening night and was also less than impressed. I took pictures but didn't even bother to blog about it because I knew I couldn't be nice lol

Pinoy Panda said...

Glad you got your post up like you said you would. I'm in total agreement with your review. I guess we all expected much better. Loved your Lakers reference. GO LAKERS!!! HAHAHAHA I just had to get that in.

Ravenous Couple said...

sucks when you feel you got jobbed after a meal especially over priced asian food...this can't help with the anger (non)issues, but it is refreshing to read a honest albiet negative review.

kirbie said...

I was tempted to make an LA trip just to try this spot after reading a couple of rave reviews. Though after reading your review, I'm glad I haven't made the trip. The bread looks good though. I think it's odd that they are serving boba drinks too. Too bad you had such a bad experience.

LTR said...

Hi Danny,

Thank you for sharing your feedback. You seem to be a regular of our Pop-Up concept and I'm sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy your last visit.

In any case, we'd love to have you try our new bistro menu at Breadbar. If you love it (or not), let us know first ;)


Anna A. said...

Hah, we had to ASK for bread at the end since they didn't offer any! I tried the spicy pork curry as well and liked that one, but the tomato ramen was rather dull. Sorry you got punk'd on the foie gras ramen. Booohoooo! Great review, Panda!

nelehelen said...

i found my meal also very underwhelming... i'm so glad i didnt dish out 18 dollars for the foie gras ramen!

i don't even wanna know how far backlogged you are after your sf and chicago trip.. LOL

Liz said...

I got excited when I saw foie gras and ramen in the same sentence. Too bad its not something to write home about.

kristen said...

I don't think you were too harsh. It's good to be honest, and honesty can only help the owners fix their mistakes. But you're right in that it's unfair to compare ramen in WeHo to Ramen in the South Bay. We've got everyone beat!

stuffycheaks said...

oh no!! So sad you didn't enjoy your meal. We didn't get bread (jealous), but we did ask for a sample of the broths to aid in our decision so we knew exactly what we were getting ourselves into (i.e. sweet oxtail soup). I liked the spicy pork ramen too cuz there was ALOT of meat!

Darin said...

I found the post very amusing. Definitely honest and I agree with most of it. I think you totally got a small piece of foie gras on your ramen - I'm pretty sure mine was a bit larger. Though, we totally did not get the complimentary bread.

I'm surprised there's no mention of the level of service; it was pretty bad on my visit.

weezermonkey said...

Let it all out, man. Who says blogging has to be nice?

I have more respect for people who are honest. Too many bloggers have their heads shoved up restaurants' and chefs' asses.

Nomsnotbombs said...

HAH. Your headline made me laugh out loud as did several other parts. The bad comes with the good when it comes to dining out, and I think you should be honest about it all--especially when you're paying that much!

On a side note, I'm proud of you for getting this up! :)


It's good to read also negative reviews about restaurants in blogs. I always wonder if other bloggers only have good restaurant visits ;). But it is interesting to see what kind of reaction you sometimes get. We recently wrote soemthing negative about a restaurant in San Diego and got some very harsh mails from different people.

Kung Food Panda said...

L: Although I was a bit harsh, I was being pretty honest. I wasn't happy upon leaving dinner, so that's not good, right? :)

Christina: Maybe I should have followed what you did. I thought about just deleting those pics, but ultimately went with writing it.

Remil: I guess it wasn't horrible, but just NOT worth the price we paid.

Hong: I was harsh, but honest.

Kirbe: There are quite a few good ramen place around LA, may I suggest the South Bay area?

Kung Food Panda said...

LTR: I do enjoy most of the Breadbar events, and although I was disappointed with Yatai Ramen Twist, it by no means I'm done with Breadbar events. Cheers! :)

Anna: It seems like you liked it better than me? :P

Helen: I guess I just left kinda annoyed, thus this post seemed annoyed :P And backlogged post? Don't get me started.....

Liz: I have to say, foie gras don't make EVERYTHING better!

Kristen: That's why I really miss the South Bay!

Kung Food Panda said...

Stuffycheaks: I admit the meat in the ramen were aplenty, but that's about it. I don't think I like these "twist" types of ramen

Darin: I try to make it funny :) I did mention the time it took the ramen to reach our table. It felt like it was getting shipped from Japan. The service itself was fine.

Ms. Monkey: Amen sister Monkey! I think people try to be too nice to score all those PR events.

Misty: I can't write all the good things on this bed, it'll be too deceptive. I do eat bad food. Quite often in fact!

TFOJ: Thanks. I admit, while I won't be surprised if I'll get a few hate comment later on, I was just trying to be honest. While I don't want to hurt a business, I can't recommend mediocre food.

Alba Truffles said...

Agree with weezer monkey, bloggers need to be more honest. You do the readers a disservice when you are not honest or fail to blog a bad experience. Frankly, you lose credibility as I question a blog that just posts all positive, chefs also need to constructively hear the negative. (I'm off my soapbox, now). Panda, completely disagree with Oxtail, I thought it was one of the best dishes I've had all year, it was so rich...different strokes for different folks. You hit the nail on the head with the foie gras. Enjoyed the post.

Keizo said...

Adam who?? haha. Who the heck puts foie gras in ramen anyway? jk. I admire their effort, but yeah that sounds like you got ripped off to me. Anyway, the yatai's around Tokyo now are all pretty much mediocre so perhaps the name was fitting. Thanks for the link too. Hurry up and get your ass to Bassanova so I can make up for that bad taste in your mouth. The green curry is waiting...

rédacteur en chef du jour said...

I just posted a similar review of Yatai.. I grapple with honesty in bittersweet (or plain negative) reviews, but in the end can not find an authentic voice without it. I respect a critic who's not afraid to critique much more than a gloss-over reviewer. Kudos!

Diana said...

I'm glad you found at least some redeeming value in my beloved spicy miso ramen. I really enjoyed my meal there, but don't have much to compare it to since I am a ramen newb. But do agree that the gyoza were subpar for the price.

catty said...

Heheh I'm with you here. I'm sitting on photos from a very average meal last week wondering HOW to blog about it without being too mean :) well, at least your bubble tea (you guys call it boba??) looks good as does the gyoza :)

bagnatic said...

wow, i like your title. when an experience is bad, it's bad so i'm all for being authentic about what you eat and telling it as it is.

Pandalicious said...

blah! i didnt like this place either.. what a rip off. so disappointed with my oxtail ramen. whateves.. i'll just go to santouka or chabuya.

perfectsimplicity said...

wait, you guys got complimentary bread? no fair.

i agree with you completely on the oxtail ramen. the sweetness was overwhelming & i couldn't finish it. oh well. that just means you need to get down to the sb so we can eat at mottainai!

Kung Food Panda said...

Alba Truffles: Thanks for the feedback. I think what's wrong with some bloggers, especially in Los Angeles are the fact most of the meals are comped or through a PR event, thus, the reviews might be skewed as well. Not saying I've never been to one of those events, but some tend to do it more than others.

Keizo: Can't wait to try your green curry ramen. Get your ass back in the States yo! For now, I'll settle for Santouka and other tasty Brick and Mortar Ramen Houses.

rédacteur en chef du jour: We must have similar tastes! On a serious note, as a blogger, we have to be honest and be frank of our reviews, good or bad!

Diana: I wish I had your experience, but sadly, none of us really enjoyed our dinner much, other than being an "experience."

Kung Food Panda said...

catty: I guess my pictures look better than it actually tastes? :P Sometimes it's hard to post average/bad it's not worth doing, but I just want to give my 2 cents about Yatai Ramen, and it seems a lot of people agreed!

Amy: Gotta tell the truth yo! :)

Amy Panda: Agreed 100%!!

Keri: I'm going this weekend I think. U Free? :P