good ole times
the shoe asked an 86 year old codger to draw what he thought was ramen. dude came up with this using earwax and bamboo tweezers.
this is the shoyuu from saika in nakano, an it has given shoe pause for thought: there exist other ramens than tonkotsu, my son.
many moons ago, ramen senpai had asked shoe once what his favourite type of ramen was, and shoe dutifuly resoponded, 'tonkotsu'. ramen senpai gave a knowing little grin and said, "yes, young people like tonkotsu.." and left it at that.
later shoe realised that in the world of ramen appreciation, it's the shoyuu connoisseur that is truly what may someday be known as a ramen sommelier. the subtleties! the balances! gawd shoe is a mess.
it's a ... miraku?
nuttin' quite miraculous about this bowl, a humble miso from miraku in aki-ba. this is one o' them joints where the establishment don't have any sort of recommended ramen or anything that lets you know, say, that their shio is the best bet. shoe opted for the miso outta pure reliance on random chaos, and got a purely random bowl in return. whre's the pride? the kata-men was pretty good tho'.
the black gate opens...
Drums rolled and fires leaped up. The great doors of the Black Gate swung back wide. Out of it streamed a great host as swiftly as swirling waters when a sluice is lifted.
well not really. the shoe was the only booger in the joint, which is INCONCEIVABLE! The only reason can be that it's a bit hard to find in the backroads of the 'boo.
Shut yer pieholes, all of youse! kuromon has the best chashew bar none.
that sinkin' feeling..just at this moment the shoebox was gently shoved by an earthquake. tv shakin' an all that junk. there's a report on all the channels in about one minute bangin on about the magnitude, and whether you gots to worry about a tsunami an stuff. they're pretty on top of these things, 'cept knowing when they'll hit.
gaddam these things make the shoe feel so helpless. and it don't comfort shoe to know that the shoebox is really a tinderbox that any nugget-head in the joint can torch.
sometimes these earthquakes are real knuckle-whiteners, at least for the shoe. most people in the city seem to laugh 'em off. na' much you can do about it anyhoo, save moving, so might as well shrug it off. tell that to the shoe the next time one jolts him outta bed at three in the gaddam morning. coronary time!
oh dem pork bones!
the pa-ko-men from kumamoto's hinogoren, live from shinjuku. yet another tonkotsu! the shoe really should give fair coverage to the fine shio, shoyuu and miso ramens in the city, but with so many great tonkotsu joints around, it's hard to resist. ahhh, the kyushu in shoe comin' out.
the tonkotsu ramen of tenzo in akihabara, right on the main drag. the noodles (hosomen) are top notch, and the chashew's got the juicy porky goodness rockin to 11. a little too much moyashi for the shoe's likin' tho, and shoe didn't have the drive to finish off the broth.
back to bid'ness..
okay, enough of the wank ramen. time to get back to the goo' stuff. shoe knocked off another ramen from the noodle cafe, this time the inky smankness of HAORAI. with a soup as black as the shoe's heart, the joint promises 'a new ramen style'. you know when yer mam makes a roast and you sink yer choppers into the oh-so-lush burnt corner pieces? this ramen reminds you of that. great slices of chashew and a garlicky reminder that lingers in not an unpleasant way.shoe salutes the black garlick devils of haorai.
ramen senpaiso it's all the fault of some dude at ito yokado. there shoe was, trying to pry a conversation out of him, when he blurted those three fateful words, "I Like Ramen."
Shoe pounced. "Ramen? Pray tell kind sir, what is this thing you speak of?" he purred, knowing full well what the damned shtuff was... just trying to make conversation dude!
a good hour later the shoe was well-versed in the basics of ramen concoction,consumption, and hunting-gathering skills.
and this is how the shoe came to have a ramen senpai. Ramen senpai showed shoe the basics, and took him on a few sampling runs, and after that it was all up to the shoe. the shoe sat on his knowledge for a good while, content in simply possessing. then one day shoe purchased this an all hell broke loose. with trusty sidekick JC in tow, plenty of fine establishments fell by the wayside. Shoe was hooked.
shoe ain't the sharpest cookie on the ramen block, and this 'lil blog ya see here aint by no means meant to be authoritative in any way. one of these days, when the shoe is ready, he will visit the favourite ramen joint of his senpai, OYAJI. it turns out that ramen senpai has his own ramen senpai, a shadowy figure high in the ito yokado echelon who creates ramen 'files' for each city and district he travels to, and passes 'em on to his juiors. now that's dedication folks.
jus' stumblin' thruStumbleUpon Toolbar is a great little tool for all those boring moments when you've exhausted your bookmarks folder. lots of stuff to digest out there, an' it spoonfeeds you stuff you're polly going to like...
an you get a nifty 'lil blog o' yer own that keeps track o all yer junk. see this one for a good example o what you can do.
lowering the bar...
the shoe finally venutred into the ramen stall across from the shoebox, just to see if it could possibly be up to snuff. when this tonkotsu ramen was plunked down, shoe held his breath for a moment. it looked eerily similar to the akadaigo, shoe's all time fav (see earlier post). however, upon a fevered samplin of the broth, it's clear that shoe'll not be heading back any time soon.
all across the nation, unassuming bowls like this are quietly waiting to be ingested by the unsuspecting populace. a little too much oil, the veggies a little too saggy, and a leaden egg drifting through the sop. it ain't bad, but wit all the great bowls to be had in this city, ya might as well make yer own at home.
these two cheese eaters, ishizuka hidehiko (blondie) and papaya suzuki ('fro) are the lardballs behind DEBUYA, a show devoted to pigging out and eating to excess. wikkid.
each week they head out to some area (lately spreading out beyond tokyo and into the hills) to find places that serve oomori portions, or just some great eats. they have this great catchphrase they spurt out whenever something really catches their fancy, which is quite a lot... "maiuu" which is umai (delicious) backwards. clever, huh?
the show is loaded with grunting and piggy sounds, and ishizuka abso-smankly stuffs his gob with food. papaya also breaks out the disco moves every once in a while, with his little dance troupe of fatties. the sidekick, marcel, clowns his way thru the show, flexing muscles n whatnot. ishizuka also makes about 30 bad puns during any one show. there's a few different 'corners' as well, like trying to set up a fattie with a sweet bird who's into fatties.
what's really the best tho' is watching ishizuka sitting in some really respectable restaurant and just going nuts on the food like he's diggin' down burger king, licking his fingers n making snorting sounds. they've gotten a bit more popular now and have gone from an obscure midnite saturday time slot to friday nites at 9, which don't let the shoe catch it as much as he'd like. ahh well can't have every-ting.
this way to the birds!** update ** HEY GO HERE
ahhhh, wotta country. shoe picked up the habit of calling every babe, baby doll, broad, chick, cupcake, doll, gal, jail bait, lady, skirt and wench "birds" a loong time ago, and is trying to encourage the usage in others. never forget the birds!
ramen salad from izakaya tsubohachi. shoe doesn't even rate this one, but feels oddly compelled to post this in response to a blind urge to document every ramen he encounters. absolutely nothing of note here.
onions n artichokesthe synergy of things... whilst surfing, shoe was reminded of this little gem and it seemed to fit the mood of the artichoke thingy in the last post..
throwback vegetables! remember to eat an onion every week, folks.
curse of the FUJIshoe been brooding about the FUJI lately, and abortive attempts to climb the fucker. it seems each year the shoe is full of piss n vinegar to scamper up the damn thing, but then someting along the way always trips him up.
so in lieu of climbing, shoe been thinking of mountains n climbing n junk like that, and a passage from Primo Levi's "The Periodic Table" came to the fore. speaking of his friend Sandro's mountain climibing exploits,
..In the winter when it suddenly hit him, he would tie his skis on his rusty bike, leaving early in the morning and pedaling away until he reached the snow, without a cent, an artichoke in one pocket and the other full of lettuce...
...If necessary he carried a thrity-kilo pack, but usually he traveled without it; his pockets were sufficient, and in them he put some vegetables, as I have said, a chunk of bread, a pocketknife, sometimes the dog-eared Alpine Club guide, and a skein of wire for emergency repairs...
by gum, who would do that these days? shoe needs 500 yen energy drinks, some spanky new socks and a good soak in an onsen to be lured up a mountain. ah well, there are other days in the hills to be had. summer aint over just yet, although it feels like this heat wave is never going to end..... 37 days n counting!
da foojshoe was supposd to be getting his ass thrown around by the do-donPA! at Fuji-Q, but a couple of lighting bolts hurtling through space to slam into the trees surrounding were enough to convince the management to shut down the whole works not five minutes after shoe had arrived. shoe was going to resign himself to a couple of games o' BOWLING, but alas, the management in its infinite wisdom decided that the threat posed by the lightning applied to the lanes as well.
so instead shoe sat his ass here last night, amidst a spectacular thunder storm. no views of the mighty fuji, but gaddam it was, as most onsen trips, a wee slice of pleasure pie.
say what you will about the japanese and their nonstop work, the tokyo crusties and their train mania, the sweating pulsing masses in shibuya yammering and clamoring, they sure have relaxing down.
shoe gets off on getting abso-smankly squeaky clean through application of various soaps, exfoliants and unguents in the pre-dip shower. and for that 'i-just-been-kickin'-back-in-an-onsen" feeling, nothing beats slathering the old-goat hair tonic and 'hair liquid' on yer mop when finished. the smell that lingers.
go find some offs to fuck!Trailer Park Boys
there are a few nuggets of gold from the west that invariably find the shoe in his coccoon, and this is one of them.
ah, the trailer park boys!! julian, ricky, bubbles .. one o best shows shoe has seen come outta the Great WHite North in a loong time.
the premise is a mockumentary on a small time hood/pillar-of-the-trailer-park-community julian. rounding out the core cast is ricky, another waster who's still gunning for his grade ten, and bubbles, the moral anchor/googly-eyed bastard of the bunch.
if you're at all serious about getting into this show, you gots to start out at the beginnning and watch it straight thru. there is a sort of continuation in the storyline, this is one of those shows where you can sink your teeth into the one-liners
go rip it offa kazaa ya simps!
binbo battle....shit outside!ZENIKIN
the neptune comedy trio host this show, which milks the great unwashed for laffs n giggles. every week there is a 'binbo battle' between three really poor souls. a 'supporter' heads out to the residence and proceeds to investigate just how poor the person really is, poking through refridgerators, exploring strange interests, encouraging half-baked ambitions and generally taking the piss. at the end of the show the guest hosts vote for the doofus with the most appeal and they run away with a good chunk o change.
the interplay with the common folk is pretty funny at times, cos theres a lot of real strange poor fuckers out there who have resorted to some pretty disgusting practices. at any rate, it's usually an eclectic bunch week to week.
the supporters have started to create thier own little niches on the show, with their little introductions stretching into small skits and the usual boke-tsukomi. the kuriimu shichu combi features prominently here, won't be long befo' they jump as soon as their egoes swell some more. there's a new corner where some aspiring manzai duoes dash across the country from poor wanker to poor wanker, eating only what the poor provide them. usually its some shitty somen with a dollop of miso on top or some inspired cooking with-the-rice-cooker dish.
so anyhoo this week arita of kuriimu shichu was supporting some canadian dude, who apparently is in a punk band. arita at times composes a song which ends the show. so today he had this classic, in english in honor of the canadian....
sometimes a well prepared instant can be as satisfying as a ramen out on the town. this is the toroniku tonkotsu, which came with several different packets to add at several stages. the main draw here is the chashu, which came in its own little pouch. shoe's pretty sure that all they chemicals used to keep the chashew nice n soft are going to make his brain all shiny and hard.
a ghost of a bowl
the azu ramen in harajuku. this used to be a pretty nifty bowl, but the ravages of ownership change (all guesswork on the shoe's part) and the general loss of ambience resulting from the establishment changing from ramen to chinese to >gasp< hot dogs and back to ramen has taken its toll on the soup.
it hasn't changed all that much, the in-your-face garlic is still there, the noodles still fill most of the bowl, but there is something missing....and all the weird little garlic variations you can pour on won't make up for it. a sad thing to see and its a damn shame cos it was a good place to sit out on the balcony in the summer an' watch the kids roll by...
the picture of the firework on the cell phoneshoe hit the asakusa on the weekend to catch the big-ass hanabi taikai, along with oh, FIFTEEN MILLION PEOPLE. gaddam shoe was caught in a nightmare of the dreaded knot of humanity rushing for the train. the fireworks were pretty neatO, the shoe must say, and shoe is a sucker for big flames in the sky. too bad there were FIFTEEN MILLION PEOPLE, and always the big building standing in the way. stupid building. shoe prolly going to do it all over again at the big-ass hanabi taikai in the gaien mae next week. stupid shoe.
there must be at least eight hundred thousand million shitty pictures of fireworks on cell phones across the nation. who the hell wants to see a picture of a firework on a cell phone?
"oh wait, let me show you the picture of the firework on my cell phone."
"yes, yes that would be awesome."
"O.K., here is the picture of the firework on my cell phone."
people have pictures of the firework on their cell phones.
it's almost as bad as having pictures of the ramen on your cell phone. dorks.
shoe hit a phonkee 'ramen cafe' in the middle of the 'boo, and therein laid eyes on some of the sauvest ramen joints in town. simply called 'the noodle cafe', its 'concept' (wooo it has a concept!! must be lush) is to create a new style of noodle experience in hip shibuya.
now these aint yer greasy little yattai bungholes, but some definiteeely sharp glossy-black-countered-daring-light-schemed-pointy bearded-owner-having pockets of ramen goodness. shoe had a gander through the literature and honed his choices down to three... and then settled (naw, embraced) the kamado.
the soup was a mix of a fish base and a tonkotsu base, with some great meaty chashu ... the owners were kind enough to have a little sign on how to appreciate the ramen properly.. shoe complied and found it to be pretty good. a little on the gravyish taste, but that aint bad.
shoe will definately heading back to the cafe to polish off the other junk on offer.keep tuned, my puppies.
mee so hot!
the hotness, the hotness!! jeezus this ramen made poor shoe's shit burrrrn....
mee so ichi
ahh, nakano, where ramen is in full bloom. this is the miso-ichi, the hosomen version. the garlic in the soup was just on the right side of sweetness, without the unpleasant garlicky aftertaste... the hot version tho' was just waay too damn hot, but looked good and was in fact edible.