Two things we've become rather accustomed to here in Southern California, the acknowledged and revered birthplace of the modern hamburger? Patties with flowery/savory/spicy flavors and hamburgers with unusual buns.
Take the Krispy Kreme burger that pops up at various local county fairs each year. Do we SoCalers bat an eye at a donut-encased meat patty? No we do not; we're too busy trying it to get into eye-batting.
The latest savory example in our appetite-based affair with offbeat burgers arrived in Torrance on Saturday, Sept. 7: The ramen burger.
Picture a disc-shaped, fairly firm patty of ramen noodles on the bottom and top of a burger. And now picture, with your taste buds, the wow that might instantly deliver.
Over a thousand people pictured that, and wanted to give it a go; the LA Times and other outlets report that hundreds of happy hamburgerists queued up at the Mitsuwa Marketplace on Saturday, Sept. 7 for one of Chef Keizo Shimamoto's audacious creations.
And we do mean queued up; Facebook posts indicate that the wait was up to four hours for the one-day-only deliciousness. We West Coasters weren't alone in our quest for the quirky combo; ramen burgers are already making waves (or noodling their way into eaters' hearts, if you prefer) in New York City.
So where will the fusion wonder show up next? People are clamoring for more in the way we clamor in 2013: via Twitter and other social media sites. Best watch the Ramen Burger Facebook page for updates, and, in the meantime, mark your eating-out calendar for Saturday, Sept. 14 and Sunday, Sept. 15: The Ramen Yokocho Fest, "The Largest Ramen Show in the U.S.!," unfurls at the Torrance Cultural Arts Center.
Admission is free; all ramen is "$8 flat!!!" Oh yeah.
Bowls upon bowls of the steamy goodness appear on the site and promotional videos, but no ramen-topped burgers -- yet. Could that change in the days to come, given the ramen burger's zooming celebrity status?
And what bun is next for that oh-so-easy-to-top meat patty? Waffles? Crepes? More noodles? Cookies? SoCalers are sure to sample them all.
Photo credit, at right: @RamenBurger