Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Tsukemen at Kashiwa Ramen - Costa Mesa

This is Kashiwa Ramen’s tsukemen. It’s, by far, my favorite thing to eat there. It wasn’t mentioned in my OC Weekly review because it wasn’t yet on the menu at the time. They were likely still developing the recipe, tweaking it to get it just right. But when I got around to having it in later visits, I realized it was worth the wait.

Kashiwa’s tsukemen is a ramen for all occasions. In the summer you can request the noodles be chilled; in the winter, heated. Either way, the strands has the al dente bounce of pasta but with a lightness that doesn’t weigh you down.

And since they’re coated in sauce rather than submerged in soup, tsukemen (if you’ve never had it) is halfway between a plate of spaghetti and a bowl of ramen. The dish is the best of both universes.

When you dip and slurp it, you experience and then appreciate all the nuances of all the components: the acid tickle of the squeezed lime, the concentrated umami of the reduced-to-gravy soup, the chewy comforts of the ramen.

Kashiwa Ramen
1420 Baker St
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(657) 232-0223

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