Because ramen stops for no one, get out your chopsticks and your water bottles and start planning: The next Ramen Yokochos are coming. There will be two more of the wildly popular ramen festivals in October, one in San Jose (road trip!) and one closer to home, at Pomona Fairplex. (You know, the place they once called the L.A. County Fairgrounds.) The San Jose festival comes first, on the weekends of Oct. 3-5 and Oct. 10-12. The L.A. fest will be just one two-day weekend, on Oct. 18-19.
So far, there are a dozen ramen-yas signed up for the L.A. Ramen Yokocho fest, including Tsujita,
Daikokuya and Shin-Sen-Gumi from L.A.; Hiromaru from Las Vegas and Toyama; Men Oh from San Francisco and Tokyo; Monta from Las Vegas; Iroha, Norio, Hide Chan, Kohmen and a collaboration between Wakamusha and Tanatsumono, all from Japan.
Also, from New York, Keizo Shimamoto is coming with a new creation, his Burger Ramen, which is not to be confused with his wildly popular Ramen Burger.
Instead, this is his take on abura soba, or soupless ramen. The dish is composed of a thick tare, or the concentrated seasoning at the bottom of a ramen bowl, with warm noodles placed on top. In this case, there's also some greens and an actual cheeseburger. What happens, I guess, when you want noodles in their natural state instead of crammed into a burger. (Besides, you can get those at Ramen Burger's actual shop in Koreatown.
See also: 10 Best Ramen Shops in Los Angeles
The ramen festival will be, as the others have been, a massive event. Expect long lines; bring water and sunblock and whatever else makes you happy in food festival crowds. A considerable appetite. Patience. The hours will be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. Admission will run $5, and all bowls of ramen will be $8, although kids 12 and under are free.