Monday, October 19, 2015

Ramen Crush ATL Pop-Up in Atlanta

Ramen Crush ATL

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One cool thing about travel by air is that you can often stop off a few times along your route, see a new place, and continue on for the same price as a single destination ticket. So instead of just Tokyo to New York and back, I did New York, Atlanta, Arizona, and Los Angeles.

Why Atlanta? Well, I have a foodie friend living there who wanted to show me around town. Southern barbecue, a Braves game, the MLK memorial, and the world's biggest aquarium.

Oh, and ramen.

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Did I mention the world's biggest aquarium?

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But this is Ramen Adventures, so I'd better talk about the noodles.

I'm intrigued by the concept of pop-up ramen shops. They don't really exist on the same level in Japan in the way they do in America. The hype around pop-ups is staggering. Huge lines, lottery systems, and upscale venues with craft cocktails seem to be the norm. So when I read that Atlanta had a bit of a ramen pop-up scene (well, two competing shops on Thursday nights), I decided to check it out.

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Ramen Crush is held at Ration & Dram, a craft cocktail bar built inside an old industrial warehouse. The place normally serves up fancy bar bites and flights of local beers.

And . . . here comes the ramen.

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There were three of us, so we tried one of each bowl. I feel sorry for the guy who got the vegetarian miso. It was a huge mess. Pumpkin and corn.

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The tonkotsu was a bit weak, though the toppings were good. I'd like some of that roast pork and menma as a side dish, matched with some good sake.

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For what it's worth, I think I liked the shio the best. There were some noticeable umami flavors coming through, enhanced even more by the kimchi and roasted spam. I know it doesn't sound great on paper, but it worked . . . sort of.

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Good cocktails though.

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Map of 130 Arizona Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307, USA

Ration & Dram site here.
Ramen Crush Facebook here.