Originally created and located in Japan, Kitakata Ramen Ban Nai now has several locations in the U.S. With the first being opened in Costa Mesa, which is relatively a very popular area for Japanese people. Due to its popularity they ended up opening another location not too far away in Buena Park as well. Kitakata is located in a very small plaza, the restaurant itself isn’t large and probably seats up to 35-40 max? However it’s definitely worth trying, I always tend to go early to make sure I don’t have a wait, or I’ll go an hour before they close and only on weekdays. Due to the size of the plaza, parking can be very difficult. Workers are very friendly and you’re greeted immediately upon arrival with the fresh aroma of their ramen broths. They have plenty of sides and appetizers to start off with but I always go with their house made juicy fried chicken, and it really lives up to its name. The chicken is hot, extremely juicy and flavorful. Comes with a side of their mayonnaise based sauce and some lemon to refresh the taste. They’ve managed to perfect a mini fried chicken, a must order. I also love to go with their pan seared gyoza, these gyozas are made fresh every day. The wrapper itself is so light and delicate, not overwhelming like most places and the filling is so flavorful. I recommend mixing soy sauce, vinegar, chili oil, along with the fresh grated yuzu that comes with the dumplings as your dipping sauce with the vinegar being a little more prominent than the soy sauce. My go to ramen every time I’m here is their Aburi Miso Ramen, it comes with their pork broth, however their special miso paste is then added in. As you should all know by now I love spicy food so I always add their side of umami chili, it can get spicy but I add the entire mini cup of it into my brother, and always add their soy egg. A perfectly cooked egg slowly simmered in a soy and sake seasoning cooked to perfect. The ramen itself comes with bamboo, bean sprouts, corn, scallions, pork belly, and seaweed. The thing about Kitakata ramen is all of their broths are very light, I can easily finish a bowl with broth whereas to majority of other places, the broth is too fatty and I just end up eating the noodles only. Prices are extremely affordable here while the portions for their noodles are generous. I personally like to order my noodles hard since the noodles end up sitting in the broth for a while, they tend to expand. I love my noodles al dente just like the Italians love their pasta. With all sorts of different items and ramens to try you can definitely have a fun meal between two, or with the family. Would suggest not to go with parties of more than four or be prepared to split tables. I hope you all enjoy!
Restaurant – Kitakata Ramen Ban Nai
Location – 891 Baker Street B21, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Contact – 714.557.2947
Cuisine – Japanese, Noodles, Ramen, Soup, Dumplings, Rice