3024 W Ball Road,
Anaheim, CA 92804
The winter coats are coming out and the heaters are being cranked up. People are busting out their scarves and opting for the hot lattes instead of the frappucinos. Yup, that's right, it's that time of year where it drops down into the freezing 60's here in the OC. This also means that it is the perfect time for a steaming hot bowl of perfectly made ramen. Luckily for me, I got just that opportunity recently when I was invited down to the newly opened Kappa Ramen by the PR rep. I battled traffic for over an hour to get to the restaurant, but in the end, it was totally worth it.
Kappa Ramen is in the back corner of a tiny strip mall off Beach and Ball in Anaheim. It's the kind of parking lot where you double check your car doors to make sure they are securely locked. When you enter the restaurant though, you are greeted by a friendly, very brightly lit interior. I was happy that the restaurant was so brightly lit because I knew my pictures would come out so much better. Therefore, I will be posting a few extra pictures to this review.
I decided to start my meal with an order of Gyoza Potstickers ($6 for 8 or $3.45 for 4) and the Chashu appetizer ($4.50). For the main course I ordered the Kyoto Ramen ($7.45) and the fried rice ($6.95 full/$3.95 half). V decided to get the Kappa Signature Ramen ($9.95).
The gyoza is available "potsticker" style as pictured or deep fried if you prefer. The gyoza was very good and cooked just right. The exterior was crispy, but not too greasy and the interior was a nice mix of pork and vegetables.
The chashu was very tender and full of flavor. We both enjoyed this a lot. It seemed to have more flavor than chashu at most ramen places.
The fried rice was the only disappointing part of the meal. The rice was very bland. It could have benefited from a lot more soy sauce and maybe some sesame oil or something. It really almost tasted like plain rice with a few vegetables thrown in. V also didn't care for the fried rice.
The Kyoto Ramen was a basic tonkotsu ramen. This is not to be confused with "tonkatsu" ramen. Tonkatsu is a breaded pork cutlet and tonkotsu means pork bones. This broth is made fresh daily by simmering chicken and pork bones for a very long time to create a milky tan broth that is bursting with pork flavor. The tonkotsu broth at Kappa Ramen is one of the best I have ever had. I think it had more flavor than some of the most popular ramen shops in Orange County including Santouka Ramen and Daikokuya Ramen. I loved this broth. The ramen was served with half of a marinated hard-boiled egg, green onions and pickled ginger.
The Kappa Signature Ramen started with the same tonkotsu broth and added organic kimchee, avocado, bean sprouts and corn. It also had the hard-boiled egg, green onions and pickled ginger. V really liked how they cut the wavy pattern into the egg. V really enjoyed her ramen as well. She thought that it was nice and spicy and had a great flavor.
Throughout the entire meal there was a small sign on the table advertising potato croquettes for only $1. After my ramen I decided I had to try one.
The potato croquette was lightly flavored with curry and contained some corn and I think carrot. I can't really remember right now. I do however remember that the croquette was very good and a fantastic deal at only $1. I highly recommend that you get one of these to complement your meal.
Overall I was extremely happy with my meal. Even though the restaurant is a bit of a drive for me from Irvine, I can definitely see myself returning. In fact, this might be my new favorite ramen shop. Now if only they could do something to improve their fried rice, they'd be perfect.