Ramen Champ officially reopens on Friday, October 2nd… with a new owner and a new menu. Former owner Chef Alvin Cailan, the man behind Eggslut, is handing the place over to Yoshimasa Kasai. Kasai is not yet known in the United States, but he has opened Ramen Iroha, the reigning ramen champion in Japan, as well as sushi bars, high-end Chinese restaurants and French bakeries in Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China.
According to a press release issued by the restaurant:
Kasai and Cailan met during the Ramen festival last spring, where they developed a mutual respect as culinary professionals, and when Ramen Champ was about to pull the plug (despite of its popularity), Kasai made an offer to carry on the Ramen Champ’s philosophy: Hard work and creating everything from scratch. Will Cailan be completely out of the picture? Will new Ramen Champ offer as great eggs as Cailan made? Kasai admits they were the best eggs he had in recent history, so he is working on to create something delightful. Cailan will be a part of Ramen Champ.
DTLAexplorer was invited to a special preview of the Ramen Champ revamp. The restaurant space looks exactly the same as before. The biggest change is the menu. There are now only three items on the new Ramen Champ menu. (Photos by Tomoko Imade Dyen)
The Original Tonkostu is a rich, greamy and complex soup with noodles, topped with slow cooked chashu, mushrooms, green onion and black sesame oil ($8.99).
Tan-Tan Tonkotsu is Ramen Champ’s Original Tonkotsu broth with medium thick noodles, topped with komatsuna greens, roasted with sesame, chili and hotmeat sauce seasoned with Sichuan peppercorn and garlic ($9.99).
Vegan Ramen is an aromatic consommé made with kelp, shiitake muchrooms, onions, carrots, cabbage, green onion, garlic and ginger with spinach noodles. It’s topped with kale, soy meat, kikurage, corn, cilantro and garlic oil ($10.99).
I enjoyed the Tan-Tan Tonkostu. It was spicy, but not too spicy. My husband ordered the Vegan Ramen and he loved it. We miss the Tako Tots and Fried Mushroom appetizers from the old menu, but we are told a few appetizers and additional varieties of ramen are schedule to be added to the menu in November.
Ramen Champ 727 N. Broadway (2nd Floor of Far East Plaza) ramenchamp.com