What: The original Musashi tonkotsu
Where: Ramen Musashi, 44491 Town Center Way, Suite G, Palm Desert
How much: $14
Contact: 760-674-7299; ramenpalmdesert.com
Why: The broth is stellar.
Food trends usually arrive in the Coachella Valley about five years later than they arrive in bigger cities. Take ramen, for example: You can’t walk several blocks in any of the major West Coast cities without coming across a ramen shop or three—but here, they are few and far between.
I love a great bowl of ramen, which why I was excited when I learned several months ago about the opening of Ramen Musashi. One of the reasons for my excitement was the pedigree: It’s a sister restaurant of Musashi Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar, which has been open in Palm Desert since 1996, making it one of the valley’s oldest Asian restaurants.
I went to lunch there one recent weekday with my friend Debra. While Ramen Musashi offers vegetarian, chicken and even cold-ramen options, along with a variety of appetizers, Debra and I both ordered the original Musashi tonkotsu—featuring creamy pork bone broth and thin noodles, and topped with braised pork belly chashu, onion, marinated egg, marinated bamboo, kombu, shitake mushrooms and garlic chips.
After the fantastic server delivered the gorgeous, steaming bowls of food, we dove in … and wow: The ramen was revelatory. All of the ingredients were perfect. The pork was tender and delicious; the egg was a creamy delight. The garlic chips and onion did not overwhelm, and the noodles were just right.
But for me, ramen is all about the broth—and this tonkotsu broth was stellar. It was packed with umami, seasoned masterfully and soooooo delicious.
Thanks to the amazing ramen and the great service, Ramen Musashi is pretty special—as good as any of those major-city ramen shops.