The formula…

Day 392:

I woke up feeling like it was gonna be a good day. For it is payday and my day off. So like most days off, it started off with a visit to the gym and a nearby ramen shop. Nejishiki (ねじ式) in Hatagaya, just steps from Hototogisu, is a new shop barely even two months old.

The shop is run by Kenji Ota, but when it gets crazy he calls upon his army of little masked men.

There are 3 options: Ramen, Tsukemen, and a junk-style Mazesoba (hear that Brian). And with toppings like garlic butter or cheese mayo, things can get very interesting. I decided to keep it simple and opted for the 特Ramen.

Woah! Heavily marinated ground pork.

The noodles are fat and take long to cook, but it’s worth the wait.

If I had to describe it, I’d say it’s like a high-class-Jiro-kei-geared-for-the-country-clubs ramen. おしゃれでしょう?


So I had this idea of putting all the ramen shops I’ve slurped at during year one into a photo book. Would you buy a copy? I originally wanted to have it finished by christmas, but we’ll see.

Then of course it was time for dinner at Bassanova.

Where some crazy (but awesome) regulars started buying me drinks.

And we had a blast just messing around.

Right Boom?

It was…a good day.


Day 391:

It was back to my old routine. Pay a visit to gramps…

Eat some katsu curry…

Heed a few words of wisdom…

Chow down on a whopper from Boom (or hooper as mom would say)…

Slurp some noodles…

And play with one of the stray cats on my way home.

Just routine. Gramps says hello. He is doing just fine. I showed him the video of Bassanova on tv and he seemed proud. I ought to visit him more often.


Day 390:

Another early morning. Perfect for some shoyu, egg, and rice with a fat piece of ham..I mean chashu.

So this is how the story goes. Brian was asked to do a TV show after some other well-known chef backed out. And of course, being that we’re good friends, he brought them to Bassanova. Thanks BMac!

And after they interviewed Brian, they even interviewed me.

I was hella nervous and really butchered my Japanese, but they were very interested in our stories. Regardless if I make the final cut or not, it was a fun experience.

The reporter even let us take a picture with her, which is very rare. Thank you Imanaka-san!

So if you’re in Japan on December 2nd and awake around 7am, tune into Nihon Terebi (channel 4) to watch Brian (and maybe me) on ズームイン!!SUPER. Hopefully I’ll be able to get a copy to show you guys, but no guarantees. Regardless, I’ll try to get a taping.

As promised…

Day 389:

Here’s a copy of Bassanova’s television debut (at least since I’ve been working here). I can’t say how I was able to obtain a copy, but thank you for getting me one (you know who you are).

I was working the lunch shift today and realized that I still had some Rokurinsha left in the fridge.

So moist and so tender.

I even had time to create a new ramen, but I’m keeping this one a secret.

After work I biked over to my bro’s to try and sneak some Thanksgiving leftovers. No turkey, but the green bean casserole hit the spot.

And then it was back to Bassanova to check in with our newest staff member. Please say hi to Yayo-chan!


UC preeminence…

Day 388:

The Fall colors have finally arrived, but to me it already feels like Winter.

Today is my day off, but I received an email from a fan who was visiting from New York saying that they dropped off a gift for me at the shop. Apparently, they’ve been paying attention. Thank you so much Russ!!

The new Ramen Walker magazine also arrived.


Then it was time to feed my ramen soul. I passed by Menya Kushu (麺屋 九秀) earlier today after my workout and it was closed, but I decided to go back when they opened.

So I could try their Agodashi (flying fish) Tsukemen.

Very fishylicious.

Then it was back to basa to meet up with the UC kids. What up!! They will soon be going back to cali, but not before packing the basa house!

Jordan and Calvin have been here the most and are probably responsible for spreading the basa word to their friends. (Mad props!)

But a very special thanks has to go out to Jaimie. She’s been following my blog for awhile now and she was the first to email me and get everyone to visit Bassanova in the first place. Thanks Jaimie!!

Study hard and let your dreams guide you through life. And if life gets too tough, there will always be a bowl of green curry soba awaiting your return. 頑張って!

See you in cali!!

Turkey Day 2010…

Day 387:

So…does eating a Turkish kebab qualify for having a turkey dinner?

I guess for me it does. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I have so much to be thankful for that I often overlook the most important things in my life. So thank you…and I hope you all ate lots for me too.

I did get to try something very special today though. Remember Kenta? Well I picked up some jerk chicken at Good Wood on my way to work and managed to put together a Jerk Chicken Green Curry Ramen.

Oh my god! (yes I spelled it out.) I think we HAVE to do a collabo. The spices from the jerk chicken mixed in with the green curry was absolutely amazing. Absolutely amazing!! It was like Thai meets Japan meets Jamaica. And then some.

Happy jerk chicken day!


Day 386:

I don’t remember exactly what time I got home, but the first thing on my mind when I woke up was Eifukucho Taishoken. I needed a bowl bad. For the first time, I got the window seat with a direct view of the soup. Woah!

I love this bowl. It’s like the nurturing grandmother of ramen.


So Shuga bought some apple vinegar to try in our tsukemen. He swears it’s really good. Sorry Shuga, I like the normal version better.

Okay, I’m good…I think.