So I ventured out the other day to try Shinsengumi, whose name often comes up in ramen discussions. This location in Rosemead opened a few months ago, I believe.
Shinsengumi's thing is that you can customize your soup - how firm/soft the noodles, how oily the broth, and even how "flavorful" (??) it is. This seems like a good thing - who doesn't want to be able to control the outcome of their food? - but not considering myself a ramen chef, I didn't exactly feel qualified to start revising the dish. I opted for "normal" on everything.
The moral of this story, I guess, is that I shouldn't quit my day job to start a ramen shop. The noodles were a bit too firm for my taste, and the soup (the porky tonkotsu kind) was tasty but perhaps could've been a bit more flavorful. But of course I have no one to blame but myself!
I did like the shreds of pickled ginger on top, which I found were a nice foil to the rich broth. The chashu, though, was disappointing - texture like ordinary roast pork rather than the melty, fatty, delectableness that it should be. I think I may be more attuned to toppings than anything - I love the toasted sesame seeds at Chabuya.
On the whole, obviously I could keep going and trying to refine my ramen-customizing skills, but considering that I live not half a mile from Daikokuya, there doesn't seem to be much of a point.
Shin-Sen-Gumi Hakata Ramen Restaurant
8450 E. Valley Blvd. #103, Rosemead, CA 91770
Phone: (626) 572-8646
Fax: (626) 572-8646