After first learning about Alvin Cailan’s decision to transition his upcoming slurpy noodle concept, Ramen Champ, to the Far East Plaza instead of sticking around the Grand Central Market, everyone’s been patiently waiting for an opening date. The man behind the EggSlut brand has been hard at work in his new space, and today dished details to the Times about exactly that.
All of the interesting Ramen Champ news:
- The second-floor shop is aiming for an early January opening, though they’ll begin firing ramen batches in the kitchen for friends and family any day now.
- Don’t expect much by way of high-minded design. The clean space is mostly black and white, with murals done by Lucky Peach art contributor Mike Houston from New York City.
- All bowls of ramen can be made spicy, using chile de arbol, guajillo and New Mexico chiles. No Sriracha needed here.
- Ramen Champ will have a tonkotsu pork focus, though hearty bowls of chicken ramen will be available, as well as vegan options. Rotating specials may even include brothless ramen dishes known as mazemen.
- Cailan is still using a farmer’s market focus for his ramen, picking up vegetables from the Santa Monica farmers market and using pork from Salmon Creek Farms.
- It won’t all be ramen here, either. Ramen Champ will offer smaller sides like rice bowls to complement any leftover broth, and plans to expand the menu with Japanese fried chicken, and even octopus takoyaki.
- As for Cailan himself, he couldn’t be happier with the move to Chinatown, telling the Times "I loved it from the start."