It was the seared swine that did it. I became infatuated with Chinatown’s Ramen Hashi the very first time I walked into the sparsely embellished Spring Mountain storage facility area. One could argue the aroma of torched chashu– braised pork tummy discovered as a normal accoutrement to ramen– is basically the only accessory the space requires. That alone deserves the rate of admission.
However there’s a lot more to Hashi, which really specializes in chicken ramen, a dish not nearly as common around the Valley as the pork-based tonkotsu. In fact, the menu centers around a trio of chicken ramen variations: shio, shoyu and tori paitan. (And yes, I understand there’s a chashu rice bowl. I have not attempted it, due to the fact that doing so would break among my primary dining guidelines: If there’s a dish in a restaurant’s name, order it. It’s not called Chashu Bowl Hashi.)
Shio and shoyu are broth-based– with salt and soy sauce infusions, respectively– with the latter described as white broth due to its cloudiness. In truth, it’s a complex, hearty concoction that obtains its robust flavor from chicken fat and marrow during a 12-hour preparation. The time took into the soup appears.
The tori paitan ($10) is my preferred, a hauntingly good meal. All the chicken alternatives are served with the aforementioned, chopstick-tender chashu, brilliant orange-yolked tamago, bamboo shoots and green onions. I like including black sesame oil and nori to my tori paitan for $1 each, and while I likewise have actually ordered extra chashu ($3) on occasion, it’s not really needed.
Like the remainder of the ramen parts, Hashi’s thin noodles are also made in-house. Prepared for a minute-fifteen flat, they regularly attain the subtle balance of chewiness and firmness, durable enough to weather the hot broth yet tender enough for simple eating. Like everything else in the meal, they’re spot-on.
Ramen Hashi 5808 Spring Mountain Roadway # 109, 702-202-1238. Monday-Friday, 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday & & Sunday, noon-10 p.m.