We Tried a New, Nearby Ramen Restaurant

"Black Tonkotsu Ramen" Cedar Park, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/35 sec, ISO800
“Black Tonkotsu Ramen” Cedar Park, 2019

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Tonight the boys and I went to a newly opened ramen restaurant that’s located near our house. EurAsia Ramen offers several different types of ramen, poké bowls, and sushi rolls. By looking at the website, I suspected that the restaurant wasn’t Japanese-owned so I wasn’t expecting a typical Japanese ramen experience, but I’m open-minded and willing to give a new restaurant a chance.

I decided on the Signature EurAsia Black Tonkotsu Ramen, while Koa got the Miso Ramen, and Bay tried the California Poké. The portions were a little on the small size for the price. I’d expect to pay about US $8.00 for the amount we received, but it wasn’t too unreasonable.

On to the important part, which is taste. I rate the ramen I had a 5 out of 10. It wasn’t bad, but not great. The flavor of the broth was a little bland, and the noodles were very thin. The noodles in Koa’s Miso ramen were thicker and eggier… not sure why. There was a good amount of charsiu pork in the bowl, which was nice, however, it had a generic “hammy” taste, almost like a spiral ham you might eat at Easter or Thanksgiving.

Meanwhile, Bay’s poké bowl was unimpressive, with the main ingredient “snow crab mix” being just a lot of surimi. Not great.

Of course, I want local restauranteurs to succeed, and I think EurAsia Ramen might do ok because the dishes are “good enough” for those who may not be as particular about ramen as I am, but I don’t think I’ll be back. There are simply better ramen offerings in Austin, such as Ramen Tatsu-Ya and Daruma Ramen.

またね~

"Poké Bowl" Cedar Park, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/25 sec, ISO800
“Poké Bowl” Cedar Park, 2019

Captain Marvel (2019) – Movie Review

こんばんは。Tonight my two sons and I went to the theater to catch the 9:35 showing of Captain Marvel. I had heard good things about this superhero movie, so I was excited to see it (much like Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse), and I was not disappointed.

******** SPOILER ALERT *********

I absolutely loved the movie! It had a great story, interesting characters, and wonderful acting. Plot-wise, I liked the manner in which Captain Marvels’ past unfolds bit by bit and changes her relationship to the other characters. As she learns more about her past, we learn the true nature of those around her, and that drives the story. Funny how you can begin the movie despising the Skrulls, and then that turns around 180 degrees. Their story, of course, has relevance to today’s real-world situations, so that gave me a whole lot to think about.

I liked how the 1995 setting establishes Captain Marvel’s place in the MU before most of the present-day heroes. Since 1995 would put the main characters at about the same age as me, I have a special affinity for them. Plus the setting is Los Angeles, so there’s an extra connection!

It’s always interesting how the movies’ stories intersect with each other and seeing Nick Fury and Agent Coulson as young noobs was really fun. I read that the actors were digitally “de-aged” by 25 years for the movie. It looked great!

Speaking of actors, Brie Larson was excellent in the title role. She was relatable and strong, and once again, I can easily imagine her in the 1995 timeframe. But she also pulls off the transitions from Star Force soldier, to So-Cal native, and to superhero with ease. And what about that mohawk? At first, I thought it was kind of ridiculous, but then I was all, “Yeah”! I also liked the chemistry between Larson and Samuel L. Jackson, but then, Jackson seems to have good chemistry with everyone. 😀

On the flipside, I was surprisingly disappointed with Jude Law‘s acting which seemed formulaic and lacked depth. Maybe it was just the dialog he was given, but I felt like I could predict everything he was going to say and every expression on his face. After each of his scenes or lines, the thought “yeah, that was average” went through my mind. I expected the usually excellent Law to give more color to the character, but that was not the case here.

Although I don’t like the ensemble superhero movies as much as the standalone character films, I’m looking forward to seeing the next Avengers movie. Everyone has their favorite heroes, and Captain Marvel jumped to the top of my list. I’m hoping she kicks some butt in Avengers: End Game!

Here’s a ranking of my favorite superheroes (that I am familiar with). Looking at this list, any character below Black Panther I’d be fine with not making the Thanos cut.

  1. Captain Marvel
  2. Dr. Strange
  3. Thor
  4. Spiderman
  5. Hulk
  6. Gamora
  7. Black Panther
  8. Star-Lord
  9. Scarlet Witch
  10. Vision
  11. Black Widow
  12. Iron Man
  13. Captain America
  14. Hawkeye

Lastly, I thought it was cool that Brie Larson said one of her role models was Sailor Moon, and that prompted @Drachearannak to create this amazing illustration which got thumbs-up from Larson herself! So awesome.

またね~

Chinese Noodles for Dinner at Xian Noodles

"Red Braised Beef Noodles" Austin, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec, ISO6400
“Red Braised Beef Noodles” Austin, 2019

こんばんは。How’s it going?

This evening I had to fend for myself, as the saying goes, since my wife and kids were all out. I thought it would a nice night for some pho, but then I decided to check out the local Yelp listings for noodles. I almost went to try a ramen restaurant that recently opened, but decided on Chinese noodles at Xian Sushi and Noodle. Despite the name listing on Yelp, the restaurant no longer serves sushi (and the menu just said Xian Noodles on the cover), which is fine since they can devote their efforts on the signature hand-pulled noodles. There were a couple items on the menu that I wanted to try but ultimately went with the Red Braised Beef Noodles, which was highly recommended by Chinese reviewers.

The broth was flavorful and the noodles were chewy and substantial. You can actually choose from perhaps six different types of noodles, but I asked the Chinese waitress what she recommends, and she said she likes the “thick spaghetti”. That sounds like a description that someone might use to describe the noodles to Western diners actually. They were really good, and I would choose them again. There was a good amount of beef in the soup as well, although the noodles were definitely the star of the show, at least for me.

Years ago I lived in Monterey Park, California, which has a sizable first-generation Chinese population and therefore a huge number of authentice Chinese restaurants to choose from. My roommate, who was from Hong Kong, and I used to go out to eat quite often, and the noodles that I had tonight at Xian were reminiscent of the beef noodle soup that I used to enjoy in Monterey Park. That’s definitely a good thing!

The other item on the menu at Xian is the Dan Dan Noodles, so I will need to go back in the future. Maybe next time I can convince my family to join. 😀

"Noodle Menu" Austin, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec, ISO4000
“Noodle Menu” Austin, 2019

I hope you had a nice day!

またね~