This place smells like funk. As in, won’t you take me to Funky town? And not only did I go to Funky town I’m also gonna talk about it, talk about it, talk about it. Walking into Ramen of York is like walking into an underground garage – turned bar – owned by James Brown. The vibes of this establishment get me more excited about ramen than I probably should be. I don’t know if I should stop, pop, and get down on it or eat myself into a coma in front of their wall of mirrors. It’s a place that allows you to enjoy the, often underappreciated, pairings of a delicious meal and solitude. Because eating alone here makes you feel like you’re on a date with yourself; and doesn’t that mean that everyone’s getting lucky tonight? Now don’t misunderstand me either; this is also a place where you can easily bring a friend/ partner/ tinder date/ fuck buddy/ blow up doll/ what have you. This restaurant beckons its customers to come as they are; the same way we can dig it for how it is.
Majority of the restaurant is bar seating with mirrors placed directly in front of each stool. On one side of the restaurant, the walls are brick with large tear drop light bulbs, giving it a rustic charm. And on the other side you get a totally different industrial world; with large alleyway lamps hanging from the ceiling, heavy weight black walls, and shiny metallic countertops. Ramen of York carries the same excitement as an east coast pop-up joint: it’s loud, you can see into the kitchen, and it’s cramped. But isn’t that exciting? Their fire truck-red counter tops make you feel like you’re supposed to be there. And I concur; I am supposed to eat this ramen. This place screams at anyone that walks in, ‘Please pull up a chair and dance OR feel yourself and eat some broth’; a broth that has been boiling for 16 hours (damn!). If that doesn’t make you wanna slap your mama I don’t know what will.
Now cue the part where my world starts spiraling out of control because, unfortunately, there is no booze on the menu. I ask the waiter what they recommend as a solid pairing for the Paitan Chicken Ramen, my meal for the night. He recommended their horchata. I’m sorry, horchata? You mean I get to enjoy the better of two cultures at the same time? Pretty sure there’s only one way to describe how I’m feeling right now: cultured AF.
My ramen arrives fairly quickly, considering how busy it is (on a summer night none-the-less). Which is always so important to us Angelinos because apparently we’ve forgotten the meaning of patience. But the ramen, people; can we talk about the ramen!? My Paitan Chicken broth was like drinking bone marrow soup of the gods. I don’t even know what bone marrow tastes like, but I imagine this must be it, in godly terms. I could taste the long hours of fermentation it took to get this broth to its perfect state of richness. The pork it came with melted in my mouth the same way you melt into your bed after a long day. The meat was so tender and incredibly full of savory flavor. It was as if a stick of butter and a pig had a baby, and that baby’s only wish was to see what it was like inside of my mouth. And let me just tell you, it found out. Now apparently the ramen came with green onion, spinach, and bean sprouts but I blacked out after that first bite so I’ll just have to take their word for it.