Kitakata Green Chile Ramen (Dose of Vitamin P)

Ramen Orange County

Ramen has never been more popular in California, and while L.A. gets most of the press, Orange County has some unique bowls. For instance, Kitakata Ramen Ban Nai is named for a small town in northern Japan and dates to the 1920s, when “a young man from China selling his own handmade ramen (used to be called “Shina Soba”) on the street pulling a ramen stall playing a flute.” I like the image of a soup noodle Pied Piper. Apparently Shingo and Hisa Ban Nai opened the original Ban Nai Shokudo in 1958, and protégée Akira Nakahara expanded the brand to Tokyo starting in the late 1980s. Kitakata has almost 60 branches, and for their first Stateside outpost, the powers that be selected Kohryu’s former Costa Mesa strip mall home. The space features photos of Japan on the wood walls, an open kitchen with blonde wood counter, and shelves of decorative figurines by the entrance. If you’d like, their signature ramen comes with a chashu lid that blankets the entire bowl. A pork blanket is plenty comforting, but I actually preferred Kitakata’s Green Chile Ramen.

Green Chile Ramen ($8.50) packs a nice finishing kick, and still features a cloudy pork broth with savory shio base. Garlic, Nappa cabbage, Asian chives, and ribbons of red and green onions play supporting roles in Kitakata’s spicy porcine world. So does the fan pattern of meaty, fat-rimmed toro chashu. Request hard noodles if you like more bite.

Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.

Address: 891 Baker Street, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Kitakata Green Chile Ramen (Dose of Vitamin P)


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

Blog Comments

Thank you for sharing valuable information.

Your site is really good and informative. Thanks for sharing.

Leave a Comment