Fujin Ramen opened two weeks ago in the old 1+1 Dumpling House space in West Covina. Their pan-fried pork dumplings will be missed. LA is currently in the middle of a Westside ramen growth spurt with Ramen Yamada recently open, Jinya about to open, and Tsujita already serving but not quite ready to offer ramen. Fujin is here to rep the SGV in the 2011 ramen invasion.
Fujin's chef partner Elmer Komagata opened LA modern French restaurants Chabuya in 1987, and Truffles in 1989. He recently returned to LA after successfully operating a ramen restaurant in Cancun for eight years during a 14 year Mexico stint. Prior to opening Fujin in West Covina, the chef consulted on Yamada-ya's menu and imported premium regional sake.
The Tokyo-born chef previously worked at Paris' Trois Marches and Le Petit Bedon, both two Michelin star recipients. At Fujin, Komagata applies 30 years of stock making experience to two distinct types of broth: tonkotsu "milky white" and shang tang "crystal clear." Each bowl of tonkotsu ramen contains the essence of a pound of bones which yields ramen soup so thick it jiggles like Jell-O. The chasu found in the ramen? Steamed, sliced, then bruleed before serving. Corn for the miso butter corn ramen is served on the cob, with a knife, after grilling; the hanjuku tamago, found in both ramen and bowls of pork belly rice over rice, is a "matter of pride" for the chef. Playfulness is even extended to the anime dragon painted on the wall (being ridden by a baby, as inspired by Son Goku).
Three different types of noodles (custom percentage of water, flour type, and cutting blades) are made for Fujin Ramen. The noodles are then paired to three distinct types of ramen: Hokkaido, Nagasaki,and Taiwanese. Yes, here one can find Taiwan's most famous bowl of noodle soup as interpreted by a French trained Japanese chef.
Beer and wine license is to come, so expect the chef's jizake knowledge to fully manifest itself shortly.
·What Was LA's Best Dining Neighborhood in 2010? [~ELA~]