6:30 PM - 8:30 PM (PDT)
JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles Salon, Level 5
JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles’s popular Movie & Bites series continues with a third program relating to ramen – Episode 10 of the popular TV series Midnight Diner (Shinya Shokudo) [Length: 25 minutes]. Midnight Diner is a Japanese television series that has been running since 2009. Starring Kaoru Kobayashi, it tells the stories of ordinary people who eat at a small, late-night restaurant, or shinya shokudo, in Tokyo that opens from 12 midnight to 7am. The series depicts the triumphs, hardships, humor, and most of all, humanity and grace, of the people working the glamorous, yet seedy, Tokyo night scene, shown through their stories and the foods most memorable to them in their lives.
The screening will be followed by a presentation by Chef Ryu Isobe including a simple recipe demonstration, and a ramen tasting featuring vegetarian ramen. The chef will provide cooking tips for vegetarian ramen soup and a variety of toppings including tofu, as well as how to take your home-made ramen to the next level. He will also share his perspective on ramen culture including its regionality and adaptability to local context, in Japan and beyond.
Guests will receive take-home ramen kits from Sun Noodle to try on their own.
*Japanese dialogue with English subtitles.
** This episode includes a scene with brief violence. Parental discretion is advised.
***The ramen will include soy and wheat, with butter and egg as optional toppings. No takeout containers are provided for leftovers.
All program participants will be required to show proof of primary vaccination (two doses of Pfizer or Moderna or one dose of Johnson & Johnson) and complete a temperature-check as they enter the venue. Masks are strongly recommended to be worn, except while eating and/or drinking in the designated areas.
- Midnight Diner: 25 min
- Presentation including Q&A: 45-60 min
- Ramen tasting: 20-30 min
Ryu Isobe is a young entrepreneur. He grew up in Japan eating all kinds of ramen on the streets of Tokyo. When he moved to the U.S., he discovered that good ramen was hard to find. After graduating with a degree in entrepreneurship from the University of Southern California (USC), he channeled his passion for noodles into establishing the restaurant Tatsu Ramen in 2012, and the restaurant became very popular among LA-area ramen lovers. After leaving Tatsu, he went on to open the ramen restaurant, Kazan in 2019 in Beverly Hills and has since received a Michelin Bib Gourmand award.
The Ramen Shop: A Local Icon Gone Global
There are many levels to examine ramen – from its rise as a global foodstuff, to the artistry of the dish itself. Another angle is to consider the ramen shop (known as a ramen-ya or ramen-ten) itself as playing an important role in Japan’s economy and society over the last half century – and becoming an essential feature of pop culture and entertainment.