Friday, April 11, 2008

Know Ezogiku's strengths and be happy

No pics yet, but I'll get some next time. The little ramen place next to the old Fastop and the current Kit n' Kitchen is someplace new to me. Though Ezogiku has been around as a chain for several years, it existed outside my realm. But, out of necessity*, I started going in there since moving back to the Mo'ili'ili neighborhood a few years ago.

In the past month, I've been there a few times. I had the chicken katsu curry, and to my chagrin, it was lousy. Thin slices, and not meaty at all. What meat there was turned out to be stringy. Yeah. Not a big turn-on for the taste buds. But I had to remember: this is a ramen place. I did some reading online and learned about Ezogiku's history, its roots in Japan, and how they really are a broth-based establishment. For them, it seems, anything but ramen is a thorn in the side, almost on the menu as a formality.

So I went back and had the chicken vegetable ramen plus gyoza, a package deal that cost less than $7. The gyoza? Very underwhelming, and really, it's unfair of me to compare anyone's gyoza to the best on the island at Taiyo Ramen. However, I liked the chicken vegetable ramen. Thin broth, lots of veggies, tasty (salty) and good for someone who had a flu like I did.

I went back the past week and broadened my horizons. I ordered the seafood ramen ($6.89), which is not part of the economy package, but I wanted to test it out. Man, was it GREAT. The broth was thick, very Chinese style. The seafood was sweet, the noodles were flavorful and succulent. A mix of veggies, but the winning element was the broth. So tasty. Of course, two-thirds of the way through I needed a little kick, so I dumped in some wet chili pepper sauce. Overall, though, this is one of the best ramen dishes I've ever had.

The seafood ramen rates 4 stars out of 4. Pics next time.

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