Letters from the week of April 2
What's with Jason Sheehan's love for Frank Bonanno? First the review of Bones, capped the next week by the Best New Restaurant (and Best Chef) award in the Best of Denver 2009. They're just noodles, Jason. And they've been done better elsewhere.
I'm a big fan of Jason Sheehen's reviews; he has a way with words that keeps it interesting.
I just read his review of Bones and the side article on Oshima Ramen, and wanted to give you my input on Oshima. I'm a Japanese-American born and raised in Japan, and consider myself pretty knowledgeable about good Japanese food, especially ramen. Ramen shops are dime a dozen in Japan, but a very good ramen with great broth is rare. I can probably count on less than one hand the total number of good ramen shops I've eaten at in my 59 years.
I've eaten twice at Oshima Ramen in Denver — shortly after it opened ten years ago, and the second time about a month ago. Oshima Ramen is pretty bad. The gyoza and chahan (fried rice) is just as tasteless and bad as its ramen. The few Japanese that I know who have eaten there, they all feel the same. I had hoped it had improved in ten years, but it was just as bad. I'd rather eat Sapporo Ramen and Udon from the package for under $1. I'm happy for Oshima that it's lasted this long, but I'm disappointed that it's so mediocre — and not surprised that Oshima has not expanded in the U.S.
The best ramen shop I know of in the U.S. is Santouka in the Mitsuwa market food court in Torrance, California. In Colorado, I do not know of one real good ramen shop; those are rare. There are a lot of okay-to-mediocre places, including Oshima.
Editor's note: As noted above, Frank Bonanno was voted Best Chef, and his latest restaurant, Bones, was voted Best New Restaurant in the Best of Denver 2009; Oshima Ramen got the nod for Best Japanese Restaurant. The entire Best of Denver issue is available for your perusal at westword.com/bestof. A correction to this year's compilation: Littleton's Oh, So Charming Cottage (Best Indoor Flea Market) is located at 5684 South Datura Street and is open for business the second Friday and Saturday of each month. On a related note, we mistakenly placed a photo of ManeLine MC Mane Rok above a caption about the Pirate Signal (Best Hip-Hop Mixtape) on our March 26 web contents page. The Pirate Signal is actually made up of DJ A-What! and Yonnas Abraham.
I picked up Westword and saw the story on the Wall Creeper. My only question is this: Is this a real person or just a tabloid story?
It was difficult to pin down an opinion on Joel Warner's "Superhero Anonymous." In the beginning, one wants to chuckle at the overly artful, cheeseball, fringe cool kid high-schooler's ambitions! Is the mask to protect an identity or an ego? 'Cause God knows many a high-schooler (and many adults, for that matter) would love to make him the butt of a good joke! Plenty of fodder there!
However, I must admit that the more I read, the more I admired the lad. Maybe I was having an off day myself, and when those days roll around, we tend to take notice of all the problems plaguing the world. This thought process can lead to an overwhelming sense of exasperation, which would cause many of us to give it up! Yet he chose to do something, anything! Is he making a difference? Well, thanks to this article, he has affected me!
So congrats to the un-caped crusader.
Name withheld on request
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