Have you ever gone to a restaurant where eating a certain food was a feat of strength? Like, if you conquered the meal, you'd get your name on the wall?
Orochon is one of those places. It's strange because Orochon serves ramen. How hard can eating ramen be? These people all look pretty comfortable.
Aside from offering three different types of broth -- miso ($7.25); shoyu, i.e., soy sauce ($6.75); and shio, i.e., salt ($6.75) -- Orochon gives its patrons the choice of an initial seven levels of spice, from "non-spicy" at Level 7 to "extreme" at Level 1.
But, beyond these seven levels, there are the Special 1 and Special 2. If you finish a Special 2 in 30 minutes, you become a part of the Orochon Wall of Bravery.
First, I present our non-ramen dishes.
Pan-fried dumplings ($3.50). Crisp on the outside. Juicy on the inside. Good.
Half fried rice ($3.50). I didn't have any. This was Little Monkey Niece's treat.
Cha-su plate ($6.50). I didn't have any. This was my father-in-law's treat.
Cucumber with miso ($3.95). Refreshing, but nothing too exciting.
Calpico ($2.25). It's the perfect drink to cool your mouth during your spicy ramen.
shio ramen, Level 5, with cha-su ($1.25) and corn ($0.99). I got a fairly mild spice level because flavors are more pronounced in shio broth.
The shio broth was strong and delicious, but the noodles weren't as good and bouncy as those at Shin-Sen Gumi or Daikokuya.
Mr. Monkey opted for miso ramen, Level 3, with cha-su ($1.25), corn ($0.99), egg ($0.99), bean sprouts ($0.50), garlic ($0.50), and extra noodles ($1.50).
It wasn't as spicy as I thought it would be, as miso really tempers the spice. Thus, my advice to anybody who wants to be memorialized on the Wall of Bravery is to get the miso broth to cheat a bit.
Orochon isn't my favorite ramen place, but it's good enough. I'd go back.
LMN wanted yogurt, so we took a short walk.