Kazan Beverly Hills

LA’s QPR for restaurants that, let’s just say “eater covers” has been bad at least as long as I’ve been here (6yrs). There were a couple higher end soba places in NY that ppl complained about but I always found worth the money. If there’s a way to get high quality soba near me I’ll prob pay the price of entry.

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There are many places that make great home made soba for a fraction of the price. Two that come to mind are
Otafuku in the south bay
Yanakaya in Tustin

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In short, when the term “soba” is used in the ramen sense it is not buckwheat noodles.

alternate names: shina soba, chuka soba

" Until the 1950s, ramen was called shina soba (支那そば, literally “Chinese soba”) but today chūka soba (中華そば, also meaning “Chinese soba”) or just ramen (ラーメン) are more common, as the word “支那” ( shina , meaning “China”) has acquired a pejorative connotation."

Even Japanese websites confirm this:

(use Chrome’s built in translate function)

The word soba depends on when ramen was first introduced in Japan. For Yokohama Chinatown it was “Chinese noodles” with “noodles” referring to soba. Chuka just means Chinese, like Chuka Ryori, Chinese cuisine.

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To be fair to these guys, there are ramen places in Tokyo that call their noodles “soba”. Ginza Kagari and Ramen Mugi to Olive are ones I’ve been to that come to mind. For the longest time, Ginza Kagari had a “soba” sign up front. I wonder if the distinction is due to the ingredients as @frommtron mentioned (don’t know myself and would love to find out).

Edit: as usual @beefnoguy got to the bottom of this :slight_smile:

With the chilly Winter weather hitting So Cal, a great bowl of piping hot, legit Ramen seems like the perfect food for days like this.

Unfortunately, Kazan was not it.

Opened by Ryu Isobe, who’s life story is printed on the Kazan menu: He graduated from USC and decided to open up Tatsu Ramen to “great success.” :expressionless: Now he’s moved on to Kazan. Strangely they opened up in Beverly Hills, and while they do make their own Ramen Noodles (“Chuuka Soba”) in-house, as the old saying goes, the proof is in the pudding.

Tempura Shrimp with Chili Mayo Sauce:

To call this “Tempura” is pretty insulting: This thick chewy batter is more like a whitewashed American Chinese Sweet & Sour Pork execution, and the bits of Shrimp within are overcooked and dense. The outside flavoring reminds us of a mediocre version of Walnut Shrimp. :frowning:

But we’re here for the Ramen. Glancing over the menu, it is a bit of sticker shock: Each bowl of Ramen is between $25 - $35(!). :open_mouth: :sweat:

While there are 8 types of Ramen on the menu, it’s really just 2 types of Soup with different Tare adjustments according to our server. We start with the basics:

Salt Base Clear Broth Soba with Chashu and Wonton and Yuzu:

When it arrived, something smelled weird. Taking a sip: It tasted like a off version of Truffle Oil(!), except our server said it wasn’t. It was “some European flavored oil” (that he forgot the name of) (uh…) :expressionless: with a Torigara (Chicken Bone) Broth.

Unfortunately it was just a one note salt bomb! :sob:

So you got this massive hit of pure Salt, barely any Chicken flavor, this off-putting “European Flavored Oil” that they added. Seriously, this has to be one of THE WORST Shio Ramen I’ve ever had in my life. (I’m not being hyperbolic.) :angry: :sob: :frowning:

The Pork Chashu was meaty, slightly tender, but a bit chewy. Middle of the pack at best.

The Handmade Chuuka Soba Noodles are fine. They have a decent firmness, but the whole bowl was just inedible after a couple of sips. :nauseated_face:

Soy Sauce Base Clear Broth Soba with Chashu and Wonton:

Their Shoyu (Soy Sauce) Ramen was even worse: Even saltier, one note, generic, oily / greasy tasting, and easily the WORST Shoyu Ramen I’ve had since I can remember. :frowning: :sob: :angry:

The Pork Chashu and the Noodles were the same as the Shio Ramen.

With the flavor of the Ramen Broth being this bad, this isn’t opening week jitters, it’s just lack of skill. But to add insult to injury not only was it horrendous in taste and flavor, the price was even worse:

  • When was it OK for us to pay $35 (THIRTY FIVE DOLLARS) for 1 bowl of awful Ramen in L.A.? ($27 + tax & tip)

For our legendary FTC’ers who might want to enjoy 2 bowls of Ramen / 2 different flavors (@J_L @PorkyBelly and others), that would set you back $70 for 2 bowls of Ramen. It’s egregious. (@paranoidgarliclover @TheCookie @beefnoguy @Ns1 @A5KOBE @attran99 @hungryhungryhippos @JeetKuneBao and others.)

We can’t see ourselves returning, and it’s a slap in the face to all of the legit, OG Ramen-ya around L.A. putting out much better product and doing it without any ridiculous marketing.

Kazan
111 N. La Cienega Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90211

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Wow thanks for the report @Chowseeker1999, sounds worse than ramen roll.

Starting the death watch now.

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Nice! I see what @Starchtrade was talking about now!

Thanks for taking one for the team, homie.

Tatsu was bad, is bad, and (as it appears) its progeny will be bad.

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Oh. Wow. That sounds awful. And then the bill comes.

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I don’t think any of us here would ever accuse you of hyperbole. You give places 2nd and 3rd chances. I doubt any of us will ever go here after your review…

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why does that chashu look over cooked and stringy?

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So sorry that you had two salt :bomb: in a row thanks for taking one for the team :frowning:

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Thank you for taking one for the team @Chowseeker1999 !

Yikes… simple humblepie bowl of noodles that culturally is for bang bang’s, especially at the end of a multiple drinking stop… when some of the best bowls are neighborhood shops from 500 yen to 800 yen. And I thought $16 to $18+ for the big name places in San Francisco was bad…this takes the cake.

@NYCtoLA and others, here are some other very classic old school Tokyo style Chuka Soba

Chuka Soba Mitaka (I might even have brought this up to Take-san at Shin Sushi during my visit and showed him and some customers this very page! I believe he said he didn’t know about this place even though his father’s sushi restaurant was in Mitaka!)

Manpuku (since 1929)

Harukiya (Ogikubo) - this one I actually went to, and really loved the broth to death. The wonton skins were silky smooth, although the chashu was too lean and chewy.

Eifuku Taishoken (very classic Tokyo style shoyu ramen, their bowl is called Chuka Men)

Tokyo style Chuka Soba is one of the least glamorous bowls of ramen out there, but it and its more modern variant of Tokyo style chicken stock shoyu ramen can be profoundly complex out of its simplicity and deeply satisfying. One of the best ever Chuka Soba I’ve ever had in Tokyo was the defunct burnt down one at Chuka Soba Inoue in the Outer Tsukiji (former) Fish Market. I think it was around the 43 or so minute mark of “Jiro Dreams Of Sushi”, you see very brief footage of ramen bowls, chashu, menma…that is Inoue. One bowl, one ramen shokunin with two assistants, standing noodle at the tables…ridiculously awesome broth and a wicked bowl that fed thousands of visitors (and early morning shokunin shoppers for their restaurants).

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That’s pretty pricey. Especially for a bowl of soup. Is there a dress code?

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Good grief, that sounds TERRIBLE. Thank you for saving us all some $$$!!!

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Hi @beefnoguy,

Those are some great places, I remember some of those names recommended from a friend of mine in Tokyo. I need to visit soon!

For this disaster in Beverly Hills, it’s one thing if it was one of the most amazing bowls of Ramen ever created (and even then, I think $35 a bowl would be ridiculous), but it was really two of the worst bowls of Ramen we’ve had since I can remember. :frowning: Hopefully, this saves our fellow FTC’ers from wasting money.

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I’ve been watching them build that for about a year? Every time we go to Capital seafood I saw it. Even sent my homie a picture. Kazan is the best cooking pan in Uzbekistan where their plov is made so we were a tiny bit hopeful. He was born in Tashkent.

Anyway. Having read this I’m going to Iki instead

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Well, we handled this in record time. Good work team. Special thanks to @Chowseeker1999.

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Waiting for Eater LA :popcorn: to see what they will write…

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So, wait are they doing a wagyu beef ramen? I’m picturing a cross between ramen and shabu shabu?