The date: December 15, 2009
The time: 3:50pm
The location: Orochon Ramen, Little Tokyo, Los Angeles
The challenge: To finish an Orochon Ramen, “Special #2” in 30 minutes
Outcome: Completed the bowl of Orochon Ramen, Special #2 at 4:20pm
My date with the Orochon Challenge(aka: “Special #2”) came quicker than anticipated. After some convincing from Luis Castro, friend, foodie and latest conqueror of the Orochon challenge, I decided that I was ready to attempt the “Spicy” Ramen to prove to myself that I could tolerate the ultimate in spice and heat.
I mentally prepared for the challenge and even ate spicy chili peppers to get my intense heat tolerance up a notch. In the end, preparation only goes so far and sheer adrenaline and motivation are your only guides.
When my soup arrived at our cozy table it was epic in size and far larger than envisioned. and I must say that nothing compares to the face to face meeting of the Special #2. To put things into perspective it was roughly three times larger than i had pictured and appeared far spicier with it’s brick red colored broth and abundant presence of Serrano chile peppers. Despite my reservations at this point I was committed to taking down the explosively hot concoction and could not turn back.
Equipped with an Asian spoon, a plastic fork and “The Final Countdown” by Europe playing looped in the background I was well on my way. All I could think was mind over matter and I consumed all of the solids, then began chugging the hellishly hot and spicy broth. Gulp after gulp I felt like I was making a dent, but unfortunately had only made limited headway. I muscled through for the next 25 minutes and completed the challenge in the allotted time of 30 minutes and was now one of the proud 1% of 20,000 that have accomplished the “Special #2” and now have my photo displayed on the wall of fame. Pain and agony were to follow but the old saying is correct; “No Pain, No Gain”….. Now that’s what you call a 4:20 bowl!
Bring your determination to Orochon and try it for yourself. Will you be victorious? or will the “Special #2” defeat you?
123 Onizuka Street Los Angeles, CA 90012-3846
Open Daily 11:30am-10:15pm