There’s nothing quite as exciting as finding out a new ramenya is opening in your city, except for finding out that it’s now open! Woohoo! Shizuma Ramen is located in a typical non-descript strip mall probably best known for a popular pho restaurant a few doors down. There’s seating outside, and the interior has a sparse, modern feel to it.
Shizuma offers ramen, donburi (rice bowls), some combination platters, and a few hand rolls. There was a special “Shizuma ramen” with shoyu broth that wasn’t on their regular menu, but I opted for the tonkotsu version of their pork chashu ramen on the waitress’ recommendation, plus a side order of gyoza. They offer a choice of shoyu, tonkotsu, or miso soup base with all of the ramen. Hmm…not a good sign…
My tonkotsu ramen came out quickly, topped with chashu slices, green onions, a sprinkling of sesame seeds, half a hard-boiled egg, a slice of naruto, and a few pieces of menma. I had a flashback to La-men for some reason. I slurped a big spoonful of the warm-but-not-quite-hot soup and found it very creamy and smooth. The tasty soup was on the light side and not very oily. There was also a slight spike of porky aftertaste, suggesting that the soup could’ve been cooked a bit longer. It was a decent tonkotsu broth, the kind I could slurp regularly without complaint.
The noodles were both good, and disappointing. On one hand, it was toothy and perfectly cooked. On the other hand it was curly and bland, and didn’t really belong with tonkotsu ramen. The egg was marinated, as was the menma. Both were serviceable, as was the thin-sliced chashu, which was just a bit on the lean side.
The gyoza was…well…it had thick skin and lightly-flavored filling. The filling was good, but the texture of the skin was microwave-y.
Shizuma Ramen has only been open for a few weeks, and I plan on being a regular. There’s room for improvement, but the tonkotsu broth is solid and I’m looking forward to trying their shoyu ramen. Shizuma’s tonkotsu chashu ramen gets a 6 out of 10.
4250 Barranca Parkway, Ste Q
Irvine, CA 92604
Mon-Thurs: 11am-3pm, 4:30pm-9pm
Fri: 11am-3pm, 4:30pm-10pm
Sat & Sun: 12pm-9pm