I jest. It's not a competition a la the movie, Tampopo. It's the Ramen Yokocho Fest, where 12 chefs from the US and Japan will serve their signature dishes for a mere $8 per bowl.
We were so bummed that we couldn't go last Saturday to sample the west coast debut of the Ramen Burger. That might have been a good thing because we read that 1000 people lined up (some 4 hours before opening) for a limited run of 500 Ramen Burgers. Fortunately, we'll have another chance this weekend.
This is what I love about the South Bay. It's home to the largest ethnic Japanese community in the world outside of Japan. You can name any ethnicity and we have a large community. We have access to the most amazing food.
There are 12 chefs. The festival runs from 10 AM to 8 PM on September 14 and 15. That means we can get two meals in per day, multiply by 2 days and we can sample, at most, 4 each. There are 7 out of town places we have to sample; we'll put a priority on the ones that are furthest. So I guess we'll try the offerings from the chefs from Japan (2) , Hawaii and New York (the ramen burger!). We'll have to pick up the Los Angeles, Las Vegas and San Jose entrants on road trips.
If you click through to YouTube, foodies have been naming their favorite ramen joints that are NOT represented. So that means more restaurants on our "must try" list. I can identify with one commentator who wrote, "I cant wait! im not eating for a whole week prior to the fest!"