There’s Something Special About Gyutan Ramen in Irvine

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

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(Orange County Register)

Food critic Brad Johnson reports on Gyutan Ramen. Here's what he said about the new ramen restaurant in Irvine:

The great ramen swarm continues. More than a half dozen additional ramen shops have opened in Orange County in the past six months, and the most impressive of this new crop is Gyutan Ramen in Irvine’s University Center

“Gyutan” is the Japanese term for beef tongue, and that’s the house specialty here — available in limited quantities. The broth for the gyutan ramen is made with a bright, wonderfully aromatic consommé-like beef broth, which is punctuated with a custardy boiled egg and a handful of cilantro and onion. The noodles themselves aren’t made on-site, but they are nicely cooked and slightly chewy. The beef tongue is served on the side, not directly in the soup, which allows the seared meat to retain its distinctly caramelized crust. 

Admittedly, I haven’t tasted the entire menu yet (I still need to try the seafood ramen with shrimp, mussels, clams and soft-shell crab, and another one with uni), but I have noticed most customers order the tonkotsu ramen with pork chashu. And that one is an excellent rendition, the broth quiveringly rich and velvety. It’s important to note, however, that the chashu is outrageously decadent and fatty, even more than usual, so this might not be the best choice for lunch if you’re on your way to the beach in a bikini. 

Also, for what it’s worth, the kitchen makes very good tonkatsu curry. The panko-crusted pork cutlet is tender and flaky, and the homemade gravy, pure comfort. 

Gyutan Ramen, located at 4187 Campus Dr., Irvine, is open for lunch and dinner daily.

Phone: 949-577-7313

Category: Restaurants, Destination Irvine