Endorsement Monday: Gomen Restaurant in Stanton

19 Nov

After an often swelteringly hot summer, cold and rainy fall weather has finally arrived in Southern California. I know, those East Coasters among you are already scoffing. Cold? you say. Rainy? Hah! And yes, given the enormous physical smackdown of Super Storm Sandy, I hear you. But bear with me – relatively speaking for SoCal, it is now winter – otherwise, how could I extol the pleasures of eating ramen in the cold?

New York City has this down to a steamy, slurpy science. The number of ramen shops there is truly astounding, and each one has its own circle of devotees, lauding this one’s combination of salty and soupy, that one’s pork-fat-laden goodness. And the wintery weather, that particular blend of bone-chilling wind and foot-sore travel, help make ramen eating in the city a true reward for those hearty enough to schlep through slush and the crowds to get to their steaming bowl.

CityBoy and I have found our own circle of heaven, here in Stanton, a mere 25-minute drive away at Gomen. It’s in a nondescript strip mall (as are all the wonderful holes-in-the-wall in California), bracketed by a Mexican ice cream shop – that always, always closes before we can finish our ramen – and some sushi place we have yet to try.

Behold, the loveliness:

mmm, mmm, porky goodness

I’m a simple gal, preferring a delicate pork broth, not too salty, and just a few accompaniments: sliced pork, green onions and that all important ingredient: ramen noodles. (Notice how I do not talk about the egg. The hard-boiled egg and I are not friends. He goes immediately to live in CityBoy’s bowl, where, depending on how many of his friends my hubby has already eaten for breakfast, he will be devoured or ignored. I wish him well.)

The bowl depicted shows Gomen’s standard noodle of offering: the curly ramen. It’s pretty good and remarkably yellow. But the true gold standard is the thin, straight noodle, which offers the perfect ratio of noodle to pork and doesn’t flip back at you as you attempt to swallow it.

There’s lots of other stuff at Gomen, other types of non-soup items (though I don’t understand why you go to a ramen place and get fried rice) and plenty of good, inexpensive beer. Our total last night, with 2 bowls of ramen, one large Sapporo to share, and edamame, came to just $21. That makes me smile.

Go. Enjoy. And Happy Thanksgiving!

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