Ramen Yukinoya: #LiftingNoodles
I love noodles, but I haven't delved too heavily into ramen until now! The boyfriend has been going through ramen cravings, so whenever he's hit with an insatiable appetite, I'm there for the adventure. We had to run some errands in El Monte, but he wanted to try this spot out. We drove to a small plaza after passing through a quaint neighborhood, but it was surprising to find this shop bustling with patrons even at 1pm.
We were about 5th on the list, but the service moves quick and we were seated after 30 minutes. If you need to pass some time, they are located on a Gym and there are Pokestops at the Sprint store. There's also half n half next door if you want to sip on something while you wait. Once seated, you are given menus. Menu is quite simple - shoyu, miso, tonkotsu broth.
It was our first time, so we went the whole nine yards. I got the Tonkotsu Red (spicy tonkotsu) and the bf got shoyu (soy sauce). He's finally got his favorite broth on dial, so he was elated about not ordering the wrong thing. We ordered up with a combo - he got the fried rice and extra noodles while I kept it tame with gyoza. Portions were massive btw. Noodle to broth ratio is 2:1, so ordering extra noodles may be a bit overkill unless you have the capacity to contain it. Gyoza had a nice crisp on the bottom and the fried rice had to be packed to go, but it tasted amazing the day after.
We returned again a few weeks ago for an early lunch. There was no wait and the shop was relatively quiet. Service was still as speedy as ever! BF got the usual and I decided to try the Tonkotsu White, which is the base for most. The broth was milky and a bit fatty, but the top didn't coagulate over time so it's not thaaaaat fatty. It had a silky mouthfeel, but I felt it was a bit salty. Fortunately, I crushed some marinated garlic in the bowl for some balance and flavor and it brought some new dimensions. What a game changer!
It's a bit of a drive, but it's nice to come through every now and then. I learned that I prefer the quality and flavor of the broth over noodles, but bf likes it most for it's portion to price ratio. Broth does not taste as rich or as fatty as some other restaurants, but their base is a light foundation to build upon. The soup base is a mix of pork bone, chicken bone, seafood and fresh vegetables simmered for 10 hours for a complex base that finishes smooth and clear.
Overall, we both left satisfied and beyond full with some leftovers to take home. Location is a bit small with some bar seating, but they can accommodate families of 4-6 easy. It may just require a bit of time for tables to clear. However, the restaurant moves in a fast pace, so you're in and done in less than an hour. Enjoy!
1423 S Baldwin Ave
Arcadia, CA 91007