Share Your Passion: COO/CFO Carl Katz on Ramen
“First, observe the whole bowl.” Tampopo. 1985.
So begins a ramen master’s admonitions to his student. And so begins a life philosophy for avid ramen eaters. A bowl of ramen, with so many disparate ingredients living in harmony for the greater good; broth, pork, onions, seaweed, egg, and of course noodles. Some elements float, some sink. Ramen is at once none of them, and all of them. Just like life, and much deeper than Seinfeld’s Black and White cookie episode.
Of course, folks drawn to work at The Bruery have a passion for beer. We also tend to really like food. In my case, my passion-bordering-on-addiction is for ramen. Not counting the five for a dollar out on your own for the first time instant variety of Top Ramen, I first truly experienced ramen while leaving in Japan on a college exchange program. Down the street from my dorm was cheap ramen and gyoza restaurant. That’s all they served, and for about 5 bucks too. I don’t recall if it was good or not, but it was good enough for the few dollars it cost on a student budget. Even while in the center of the ramen world, my appreciation didn’t develop until I was no longer there, and ramen became a comfort food, of which the taste and aroma would bring me back to that unique experience abroad.
Now my tastes have refined. I will drop anything for a bowl at Little Tokyo’s Diakokuya or Fountain Valley’s Shin Sen Gumi. Usually, I have to be content with a solid offering from What’s Up Men, around the corner from The Bruery (but in part because I also like their curry rice). And when I can, I like to drink beer with my ramen. Unfortunately, most noodle shops don’t seem to carry decent craft beer. You have to make do with the Sapporo or Asahi offering. But if I ruled the world, I’d have have a ramen beer pairing dinner, with combinations like a Belgian wheat paired with shio broth ramen (oh where are you now Orchard White?). For a soy based broth, I’d recommend the coffee-toffee-carmely Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown Ale (its one of my defaults for pairings). And for my favorite, miso based ramen, I’d pair Saison Rue, a dry earthy contrast to the rich miso broth.
I’m hungry now. And going on a noodle call.
By the way, If you want to watch a masterful film, about food, ramen, love, and life, check out Tampopo . If foreign films aren’t your thing, Brittany Murphy’s The Ramen Girl is the just-add-water-five-for-a-dollar-variety.
|Post written by Carl Katz, our COO/CFO, our resident poet, pun master, and noodler. Carl was brewed in Los Angeles, fermented in San Diego, conditioned in Japan, labeled and packaged in Washington DC, and finally drunk in OC.|
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