Saturday, July 11, 2009

Bon Appétit - Lamen

I haven't been writing about all the foods I've been eating because quite frankly, I'm a bit underwhelmed by the food here. Not only have I learned that I'm not big on French food, but I've been spoiled by New York City for practically every type of ethnic food you can imagine(well, except Mexican. But I got that covered whenever I go back to California). A few days ago I went to try what the French has to offer for ramen. Sadly, not much...although it has a lot to compete against filling in for the big shoes(bowls?) of my absolute favorite restaurant Ippudo.

A bit of research led me to Higuma near the Louvre. I got an order of gyozas and the charsu ramen. Luckily I looked at the menu posted on the door because I was given the all Japanese menu. I must have confused the waiter, not only was I not Japanese, I could barely speak French. But it turns out I was the confused one. I heard the chef speak Chinese to another girl! Being the monolinguist that I am, I can still clearly distinguish Chinese from Japanese from all the shouting and screaming over mahjongg tiles being shuffled I've heard from my relatives through out my years growing up.

Suddenly, everything in the restaurant made sense. The bad lighting, the old worn furniture, the seemingly unclean and unsightly decor. This was a Chinese owned and operated front! Just like all the fake Chinese owned sushi restaurants in the financial district in New York. My bowl of ramen was a fraud, it was piled full of filler vegetables; bamboo shoots and bean sprouts! The noodles themselves were chewy and not at all consistent with other bowls of ramen I've eaten in the States. The broth, bland! There wasn't even a sesame grinder nearby to help add some flavor. Worse of all, this was seemingly a popular spot. I swear I will not touch another bowl of ramen until I can get back to Ippudo and properly slurp down my noodles and ask for a kae dama!

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