By Denise Ortuno
Rich Ramen broth and Japanese delights satisfies at Ramen Musashi in Palm Desert.
It was about a year ago that I got the Ramen bug. No, I’m not talking about some Asian insect, or the “Top” version, but rather the over the top delicious noodley, brothy Japanese favorite. It was in a small restaurant in San Diego where my appreciation for it began, and I thought to myself as I was slurping the decadent hot liquid “It be wonderful if we could have a great Ramen restaurant here in the Coachella Valley.” Well, now we do.
Ramen Musashi opened very recently in Palm Desert, right off of Town Center Way across from the Westfield Shopping Mall. The restaurant is the creation of the owners from long time sushi restaurant, Musashi, in the Palms to Pines Plaza.
The menu at Ramen Musashi has a comfortable balance of Ramen dishes, as well as other unique menu selections. The crisp clean dining area rings out a modern, minimalistic tone, with wood trimmed chairs for a level of depth. There is also a rather large outdoor seating area, which will no doubt be packed when comfortable weather cooperates.
On my initial visit, my boyfriend and I were very excited to try our new local Ramen spot, hoping that it would transport us back to those incredible “eyeball rolling back” flavors that we had a year prior in San Diego. Our server Olivia was very kind, and helped guide us through the menu, patiently answering any questions that we had. I wanted some Sake, and ordered a small bottle of some cold style, which came served in the cutest little glass ever! They also offer other sakes including hot, and of course a selections of beers to go along with them.
We started off with a couple of small plates to try out the menu before diving into the Ramen itself. An order of Gyoza (fried pork & chicken dumplings) and their Steamed Buns (steamed buns with braised pork belly chashu) arrived. The Gyoza had a light bronze skin, harboring the savory filing inside, and the Steamed Buns were soft with luscious sweet pork off set by the crispness of carrot and cabbage slivers with cool cucumber, teriyaki soy and wasabi mayo. Needless to say, those Steamed Buns were so good, we had a second order, and, I’m craving them right now.
It was time for the Ramen, the core of reason for visiting the restaurant in the first place, and to disarm suspense, the Ramen was fantastic! There are many different selections to choose from. There is the pork bone broth, a mixed version with pork and chicken bone broth, chicken bone broth only, and vegetable broth for all of you vegans out there. We chose the Musashi Tonkotsu Ramen (creamy pork broth, noodles, braised pork belly, marinated egg, red onion, bamboo, kombu seaweed, shitake mushrooms and garlic chips). The first sip of the broth told us all that we needed to know, it was rich and creamy, and clean. You’d almost expect a waxy aftertaste because of its texture, but it never materializes, excellent! No doubt a result of Musashi’s dedication in using fresh ingredients, with no preservatives or MSG. The pork in the Ramen was fall apart tender, and all of the players in the bowl complimented each other.
Thank you Ramen Musashi for bringing this wonderful dish to the Coachella Valley in a delicious way. My boyfriend and I are delighted to have found a Ramen haven in the desert.
Ramen Musashi is located at 44-491 Town Center Way, Suite G, Palm Desert, Ca 92260
For more information visit www.ramenpalmdesert.com