Is the ramen noodle the planet's most versatile food?
It most often appears in steamy hot bowls, surrounded by vegetables, meats, tofu, and a rainbow of spicery, but quirky cameos in other cuisine-y favorites are growing more common. The ramen hamburger, with the bun created out of chewy noodledom? That's a thing. Ramen cookies? Take 'em in butterscotch, vanilla, chocolate, beyond.
So the fact that ramen festivals are flourishing with the full flower of a foodstuff that's got a mega huge fan base does not surprise. Rather, it only delights, a delight that will be out in slurpy, chopstick-wielding force at Santa Anita Park on Saturday, March 29 and Sunday, March 30 for Ramen Yokocho.
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"The Largest Ramen Show in the U.S." features a host of ramen-making experts and competition champions, so the noodles in the house -- er, park -- shall be of the top-notchiest sort. Kurume-style ramen, Tonkotsu soup, and spicy miso ramen burgers are three of the deliciousnesses that'll be part of the flavor-packing day.
The price? Eight bucks a bowl, five bucks to get in, four bucks for parking.
March 29 is also the Tokyo City Cup and Japan Family Day at the park.
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Will you make for Arcadia to eat your go-to ramen, the savory stuff you order each time? Or will you sample a few new tastes? At this huge, happy-eating fest, you have choice, so go both.