Hey everyone, this was supposed to have gone up yesterday. However, due to the fact that I spent more time in the bathroom than in front of the computer, it simply wasn’t meant to be. Anyway, for those of you tracking my facebook page, you probably already know that I went to Orochon Ramen. What you don’t know, is how I liked it. I’ve been curled in the fetal position for a little more than a day now, and I’m ready to tell my story.
Orochon Ramen – Little Tokyo on 2nd between Los Angeles and San Pedro.
Okay, first off let me say this, I LOVE spicy food. I will eat anything hot, and will take on any food challenge regarding peppers. That said, I got owned yesterday at Orochon. Not just a black eye, this was a backbreaking, stomach flipping, sweat inducing nightmare that I am still feeling today.
Orochon, roughly translated in Japanese, means bravery. And that is exactly what you’re going to need in order to take on their Special #2. Let me explain. I first saw this place on the Travel Channel show “Man Vs. Food.” In the show, the host takes on all kinds of food challenges, from eating 5lb burritos to gigantic meat filled pizzas to all things spicy. In fact, the final 15 minutes of this 1/2 hour show was devoted to Special #2.
My own personal reckoning is right downtown on the 3rd story of a Japanese shopping center. Here’s the view from the top.
So anyway, my friend Adam and I arrived to a packed house at about 1:30 on a Saturday Afternoon. There were plenty of people trying the special #2, but none of them making much of a dent. The best had to be this guy who was sitting outside shaking. The glazed over look in his eyes made him look like he was hallucinating. Then they sat us at the counter looking out over the guy.
Here are the before pictures of Adam and I:
And here is me taking my first bite of the hottest ramen in the city of Los Angeles:
So here’s the lowdown. This stuff is hot, but Orochon is not only about the heat. You can get 7 different levels of spice before you even touch the Specials #1 and #2. You would think that Special #1 is the hottest, but you’d be wrong kimosabe. In fact, not only is Special #2 the hottest Ramen in Los Angeles, it’s one of hottest things I’ve ever eaten.
Now I wasn’t exactly in game shape for this challenge. So perhaps I bit off a little more than I could chew. Each ramen has a soup base and you can choose from 3 options: miso, soy and salt. I went with miso and Adam tackled the soy. Looking back on it, I definitely should not have chosen the miso base. I don’t even like miso. The evil waitress conned me into getting it.
But really, I can’t blame anyone but myself. Well maybe I can blame the chef. He must be a true sadist. Check out all the jalpenos that Adam fished out of his bowl, intending to go back later.
Needless to say, neither of us came close to defeating the Orochon Special #2 challenge. We didn’t even make it half way in the 30 minutes they gave us. Here are our final bowls:
And just in case you didn’t believe me when I said this stuff was hot, take a look at this shot I snapped of adam while he was eating it.
Now I know what you’re thinking, and no, Adam does not have overactive sweat glands, and no, he wasn’t crying. His body was simply bowing to the Special #2′s greatness. Mine did the same, except instead of sweating profusely, I had to blow my nose about 87 times in the 3o minutes. Actually, I think that’s what slowed me down. Next time I’ll just let it run onto the counter.
Anyway, I can’t really talk anymore about my failure. It just hurts too much. Next time I tackle this, I promise to get video though. The pictures just don’t do it justice. But for those of you who are adventurous, those of you who love spicy food, and those of you who are just a little bit insane, this is truly the ultimate experience.
If you’re brave enough to try the Special #2, you have my respect. But, if you’re strong enough to actually beat the challenge, you will be enshrined on the Orochon Ramen Wall of Bravery.
Good luck, you crazy bastards.