kappa ramen

What in the world is going on? Suddenly, within the last month or two, a half dozen or so new ramenyas have opened in Southern California. Have my prayers been answered? Will ramen shops eventually outnumber Starbucks? Unlikely, but I can hope, can’t I?

Over a year ago, I found out about the existence of a ramenya in Anaheim called Lai Lai Ken. Unfortunately, I found out about it after they closed, though there was a sign indicating that a new ramenya would be “coming soon.” “Soon” finally came true! A few weeks ago, Kappa Ramen opened with little fanfare. Apparently, they’re still in a soft opening, with the grand opening set for September. Kappa Ramen is in the back corner of a run-down strip mall, located next to a tattoo parlor and comic book shop. Yes, I said comic book shop: this was one seedy plaza.

kappa ramen

Inside, I was greeted by sparse diner-type decor behind a friendly waitress. Kappa Ramen offers several different styles of ramen, from the traditional shoyu, miso, and tonkotsu, to the more adventurous Cajun Chicken Ramen and their signature ramen, described as their “version of the California Roll a la ramen.” I wasn’t feeling adventurous, and settled on a simple bowl of “Kyoto style” tonkotsu, some gyoza, and fried rice.

kappa ramen

The tonkotsu ramen comes with your standard red ginger, chashu, a marinated hard-boiled egg half, and green onions. The al-dente noodles were ordinary, though they paired well with the soup. And the soup was surprisingly tasty. The smooth-as-silk tonkotsu broth had depth and character, and was not at all oily. The unpretentious soup was eminently satisfying with no MSG aftertaste. The chashu was, unfortunately, the weak link. It was lean, not particularly flavorful, and we’ll leave it at that.

kappa ramen

The gyoza and fried rice were decent. The fried rice had an interestingly egg-y and vegetable oil flavor and the gyoza had a nice crunchy skin.

kappa ramen

kappa ramen

Many of the recent ramen shop openings all seem to involve young owners/chefs with a ramen dream. Kappa Ramen’s young staff is turning out a solid tonkotsu ramen, and I urge ramen fans to give them a try. (Plus, for a limited time, they’re offering free shaved ice with every bowl of ramen!)

Kappa Ramen
3024 W. Ball Rd, Ste. F
Anaheim, CA 92804

Tues-Sat: 11:30am-2:30 pm
Tues-Thur: 5:30pm-10 pm
Fri-Sat: 5:30pm-11pm
Sun: 11am-9pm
Closed Mondays

7/11/11 update: Kappa Ramen appears to have closed down.

kappa ramen

10 thoughts on “ramen preview: kappa ramen – anaheim, ca – closed”

  1. If ramen isn’t your thing, Tom’s Tacos is right there too. Originally a branch of the famous Tito’s in West LA, Tom’s is a great place to eat too. Otherwise La-Men isn’t that far away either.

  2. Wasn’t feeling adventurous and settled on the “tonkotsu” ramen? Gimme a break! First of all it’s “Tonkatsu” ramen. And is there a stanger choice to
    go with your pork filled gyoza? Do you really understand Japanese
    food? Look, it’s not fine Kaiseki food. It’s ramen, for cryin out loud. It’s the staple of your friendly corner noodle shop. Start with the shoyu ramen and you’ll find that Kappa is excellent. As for this clown who who prefers the tacos next door. Great, do your own thing man.

    1. @John Parker: Thanks for your reply. I’m not quite sure why you consider gyoza a strange side dish to tonkotsu ramen. It’s really common. And yes, I do “understand” Japanese food, and it most definitely is tonkotsu. Tonkotsu is a pork bone broth. Tonkatsu is fried breaded pork. Totally different. Cheers!

  3. I just found your website recently and have really enjoyed your reviews. I really appreciate the time you take to share what you find. I want to give Kappa Ramen a shot today. Thanks again for your hard work!! Keep it up. I really enjoy what you are doing on your website!!!

  4. After I read your review of Kappa Ramen I was so excited. My wife and kids stayed home but my dad went with me and we both really enjoyed it. Here is what we ordered:

    Me: Shoyu Ramen with half order of fried rice (Combo B)
    Dad: Shoyu Ramen with Full order of fried rice and half order of Gyoza (Combo C)

    We also ordered the chashu appetizer and a full order of gyoza.

    Overall we really liked it a lot. The waitress was great and the rest of the staff were great. We will be going back very soon.

    1. @Joey: great! If you make it down to Costa Mesa by this Sunday, I recommend Nidaime Tsujita Ramen at the Mitsuwa Supermarket food fair. It can get really crowded so if you can, try to go before or after the lunch hour.

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