Monday, September 19, 2011


I was in New York at the beginning of last September, and by the time I got back to Japan, Tokyo Game Show was over.  Not that I was all that excited about waiting in lines for a few hours, I figured that while I was living in Japan I really should go at least once.  Also, an excuse to go to Tokyo, visit friends, and eat some more of the good stuff.

My friend and I slept in late and then decided to wander not too far from his place to get some ramen.  There's a cool ramen street right next to Koenji station, so we initially headed there.  On the way, though, we spotted Etsuzan, an interesting looking shop which I noticed was affiliated with one of the first great ramen shops I'd ever been to: Mutekiya in Ikebukuro.  Mutekiya is still one of my favorite places, so I couldn't pass up a try at Etsuzan.

I was going to go with the standard tsukemen, but I could not resist my temptation and picked the spicy one.

麺創房 越山
Tōkyō-to Suginami-ku Kōenjiminami 4丁目25−4
There's a big shopping arcade that starts at Koenji station and goes south.  Etsuzan is just a little bit south of the station, on the east side.

The Bowl
The broth was nice, thick and creamy, with a good amount of thick noodles.  There was a bit of a spicy kick; not super spicy by any means, but a comfortable tingly amount.  The menma was very flavorful, and picked up a lot of the heat and spice from the broth.  The chashu was very juicy, it had a bit of a smoky flavor to it and tasted even better when covered in hot soup.

Would I Go Again?
Spicy, fatty, delicious tsukemen.  The only reason I wouldn't go is that I don't get to Tokyo very often these days, so I'd rather try some place new.

Should You Go?
If you can, absolutely.

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