(Spicy Totto Ramen)
Comfort is important to me when dining out. Reservations make me comfortable as I can't let extreme hunger influence my judgement on the food after waiting an hour for a table. Elbow room makes me comfortable. A place to put my jacket and purse makes me comfortable. Regulated temperatures make me comfortable. Not having patrons hover over me while I eat makes me comfortable.
So what was I doing in this teenie ramen house that doesn't take reservations? Well, a girl needs to get her ramen fix every now and then. Although it was a wet summer afternoon, the timing was right, as a friend and I arrived at Totto after the lunch rush and even still on a warm, muggy day, there was still a short wait to get into this little place.
(Avo Tuna - Torched Tuna Sashimi with Avocados)
We sat at the bar closest to the door and while I could feel the scorning eyes behind me of those still waiting to be seated, I was excited to witness the cooks in action. With my jacket and purse in lap, I watched the cooks, torch my tuna sashimi and squid skewers. Good predictable appetizers but I really just wanted the ramen.. and then it came, piping hot, spewing steam into the already hot, muggy air inside. This was the first time I've had a chicken and soy sauce based broth and while I missed the feeling of having oil slicked lips after sucking down collagen loaded pork broths, this was a nice lighter alternative in the warm weather. However the
peppery, spicy sesame oil that's added to the spicy ramen succeeded in making my eyelids sweat anyway.
(Ika-Yaki - Torched Squid Skewers)
Complete with bouncy noodles, torched pork pieces, scallions, bean sprouts, and the obligatory nori piece, this was quite a satisfying bowl and at a wallet friendly price of $10.50. Nice to know that ramen can be found without having to trek downtown as I do enjoy a good bowl every now and then. The 30 minutes I did spend inside being totally uncomfortable was sure worth it.