Food News

The 13 Most Overcooked Food Trends of 2013: #6 Ramen Burgers

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Nanette Gonzales
Ikemen's ramen burger at the Los Angeles Ramen Yokocho Fest.
The world of gastronomy is as subject to the whim and whimsy of the "trend" as any industry, from fashion to music. Some foods are eternal, like pizza, and others come and go from our midst, for better or for worse.

So, we got together all of the food writers we could find and asked them what they thought the most overdone, needs to come out of the oven, stick a fork in them already food trends of 2013 were.

Since 13 is our lucky number (we like to live on the edge), that's exactly how many we came up with. Some we loved, some we hated, some we loved to hate, and others we just couldn't resist loving until we hated ourselves.

See also: The 13 Most Overcooked Food Trends of 2013: #7 Truffle Oil on Everything

Here are 13 food trends that have become ubiquitous and shed the sheen of novelty -- now they're just dull and sometimes annoying, in spite of an exciting debut.

(To keep things interesting, we've included a few food trends we hope continue into 2014 and beyond. See if you can identify which trends or innovations were welcome additions in 2013.)

Coming in at number 6...

Ramen Burgers

In the modern era of the food mashup, crowbarring one dish into another has become a kind of performance art, like competitive eating recalibrated from quantity to thought piece: your dinner as a Jeff Koons balloon. Some of these mashups work; some of them should be banned by the FDA. But a rare few of them are genius, not so much edible cultural fusion as a rip in the space-time continuum. The ramen burger is one of the latter -- very silly but genius nonetheless. It's pretty self-explanatory: a bun woven from ramen noodles and pan-fried, a burger made with chashu or beef, scallions, and all kinds of special sauce. Sure, that sound you hear is purists screaming, but they scream a lot. This high-concept take on lowbrow food was dreamed up by Keizo Shimamoto, a computer programmer turned food blogger (aren't we all?) who then brought his dream to the public. A large public. When he popped up with his burgers in a south Los Angeles food court, 1,000 people waited in line, starting at dawn, like the dish was a K-pop band. It has since turned up at food festivals and L.A. ramen shops, made by ramen chefs alongside their repeating bowls of tonkotsu. There are even rumors of a ramen burger shop coming to Hollywood. Will a ramen burger be as ubiquitous as gyoza and takoyaki on ramen shop menus? Highly doubtful. But it will be a very fun ride. -- Amy Scattergood

You can contact Rebecca Dittmar, Arts & Culture Editor/Food Blog Editor at [email protected].



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Rebecca McBane is the arts and culture/food editor for New Times Broward-Palm Beach. She began her journalism career at the Sun Sentinel's community newspaper offshoot, Forum Publishing Group, where she worked as the editorial assistant and wrote monthly features as well as the weekly library and literature column, "Shelf Life." After a brief stint bumming around London's East End (for no conceivable reason, according to her poor mother), she returned to real life and South Florida to start at New Times as the editorial assistant in 2009. A native Floridian, Rebecca avoids the sun and beach at all costs and can most often be found in a well-air-conditioned space with the glow of a laptop on her face.
Contact: Rebecca McBane