Is It Any Good?

Some pretty good Ramen in Glendale.

Kanpai Ramen on Urbanspoon
Kanpai Ramen on Foodio54

Oh my–I have a local Ramen joint?

I’ve been living here, what? Thirteen years (at time of publication), and I didn’t know I had a local Ramen joint? What the @#$%??!

Kanpai Ramen has been open for a while, and it’s a real deal, full on, good Ramen joint.

It…just…didn’t…always look open from the outside.

Fortunately, since my visit, they have finally put a sign up, and now the place does look open.

It was during a fine Sunday afternoon, when I almost…almost wandered into the local Taco Bell, when I saw that flashing light, and decided to solve the mystery of…of…

Well, since I couldn’t tell what the hell the name of the place was, what this restaurant was called had to be one of the mysteries to solve.

That’s why I took a picture of the Menu cover as soon as I could.

As a Ramen joint, it’s pretty good. With the exception of one combo Ramen/Shabu-Shabu joint on brand, has the Ramen market all to itself in Glendale.

Kanpai Ramen has got a lot of varieties of Ramen, including Ox-Tail Ramen which I have never seen before. But the reason for coming here, the Ramen, the star of the show, definitely good, definitely worth the trip. Not the greatest Ramen ever, but they cook up a nice Pork-bone broth, and have nothing at all to be ashamed of…

…which does make you wonder about the sign.

C’mon guys, I want you to do well. I want to have a Ramen joint in my backyard!!

For those of you not into Ramen (and I’m not sure why), Kanpai Ramen is also a drink stop, serving up a variety of Bobas, fusion teas, smoothies, slushed and ice blended coffees. But looking at this menu, this is a place I’m coming to again…and probably again after that.

 

WHAT SHOULD I GET?: Well, I led off with the Kanpai Ramen version of Pork Buns. Imagine a nice slab of Pork Belly, bedded with cole slaw inside a bun made of sweetened steamed bread. I’ve been looking for a good replacement since we lost the Flying Pig in Little Tokyo, and…it looks like I’m still looking.

The Pork Buns at Kanpai Ramen.

No, they’re fine. They’re just not what Flying Pig pulled off. But good to know I can get even a decent bun close by.

Then came the Spicy Pork Ramen, which…I have to say, was decently spicy for a bowl of Ramen. Of course, I modified things to make them a little more Northern Japanese, adding a slice of butter and some corn. But the broth was spicy sweaty good, and actually pretty flavorful, especially for a Restaurant that can’t keep a sign up. I’d recommend helping them out, buying a bunch of bowls.

The Spicy Pork Ramen at Kanpai Ramen.

IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Ignore the fact that…well, the sign bearing the name Kanpai Ramen is…well, mostly gone (at the time of publication).

Like I said, ignore that. Look for the flashing open sign, and that’s you’re go-in signal.

 

PARKING: Limited. Kanpai Ramen sits at the end of a small mini-mall (A Verizon store is at the other end). It’s a fairly busy complex, so finding a spot might be difficult. You can try to park along Adams St. (on which the restaurant sits), but keep it mind that it’s a residential area, so mind any Permit Only or other warnings that may be out there.

 

MAP DIRECTIONS:
Kanpai Ramen
1023 E. Colorado St., Ste D-1
Glendale, CA 91205

Tel: (818) 956-5550

Hours:
Daily: 11:30 am – 2:30 pm / 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm