This is part of our ongoing Long Beach Needs This series that seeks to address two things: Long Beach’s infamous “Manhattanitis,” where our people tend to stick to all-things-Long-Beach while rarely stepping outside and two, highlights great accomplishments, spaces, restaurants, and ideas fostered by our worldly neighbors. It is meant to encourage exploration—from taking a step into the the city next door to visiting other parts of the world—and look at how they successfully implement things, create great food and community, or just view life through a different lens. To see all the Long Beach Needs This posts, click here.
Yes, Long Beach finally has ramen thanks to SteelCraft’s thanks to Tajima Ramen but it still fails to hit the drool-worthiness that is Little Tokyo’s ramen offerings—especially when it comes to joints like Daikokuya or Men Oh Tokushima.
And while Shin-Sen-Gumi down the street (along with multiple locations throughout the region) might not quite live up to Daikokuya’s richness, it officially has one up on any ramen joint in the entire country: it just opened up a drive-thru in Gardena.
Yes, a ramen drive-thru.
It is actually hard to believe that Shin-Sen-Gumi is about to hit a decade in age in Little Tokyo, when its bowls of Hakata-style ramen were revelatory because of our overall lack of ramen throughout SoCal. Now, Little Tokyo is incredibly packed with ramen—perhaps a little too packed, driving hoards of people to select spots as newer, less experienced ramen shops find their footing (and leaving many patrons waiting at least an hour for Daikokuya).
So perhaps, much like Shin-Sen-Gumi’s innovation in introducing ramen in the first place, they take another step forward in making ramen more accessible. Much like its menu—unlike hardcore Ramen joints, Shin-Sen-Gumi allows heavy customization—Shin-Sen-Gumi is the Ramen Accessibility King. They want to make ramen in your taste, for your please, and now at your ease.
Make no mistake, Long Beach, we not only need more ramen but we need drive-thru Shin-Sen-Gumi .