If your ramen place isn’t loud and slurpy, you are in the wrong place.
If you think ramen is packaged in plastic and heated up in the microwave before your third midterm exam, well that’s one way, but not the right way.
There should be pictures on a bendable menu and eye contact with the kitchen as you sit at the bar, staring with animal eyes waiting for your food to come. There should be excitement.
Places like Shin-Sen-Gumi in Sawtelle are what you are looking for; people lining the corner for a table with warm lights and food inside. There are so many reasons to eat (or drink!) a bowl of ramen: you do it to cure a shitty day, finish a drunken night, or eat alone, pleasing yourself with a large bowl of hot pork fat broth.
To me, ramen is buttery goodness. It’s a buttery warm comforting soup that is a canvas to additive statements such as Chashu, boiled eggs, and seaweed, along with all the spice you desire.
The plan is to ruin your diet and plans for the night because your belly won’t fit in that dress.
Simple, but impactful, it is the cure or some cure of some kind. Maybe we shouldn’t look so far for answers, just for lines around the corner.