La Habra resident Alex Park is the chef-owner of Ramen Tayō-Sei, a pop-up concept catering to Orange County. Last spring, Park focused his attention on building ramen kits, where everything from the homemade noodles to the various toppings is meticulously prepared and packaged—ready for you to heat and serve at home. Earlier this month, he crafted vegan sesame-based ramen kits with proceeds going toward supporting a family who had lost a loved one from COVID-19.
What inspired you to launch Ramen Tayō-Sei?
I’ve always loved ramen. The first time I had it was from a little shop in Stanton called Gomen. That was the first time I had fresh ramen. It just hit me that this was something I wanted to do. This is my passion.
How has your business evolved since you launched it in 2014?
Originally it was a pop-up concept, and I really started getting serious March/April of 2020 after the pandemic started. I was at home and needed to keep busy. As crappy as this pandemic is, it’s one of the reasons why I pushed myself so much harder just to get it to the next level. I was originally doing pop-ups at venues. Now it’s turned into kits.
What are some kitchens you’ve worked in before?
Napa Rose and Park Ave. Chef David Slay was super old school, super militant. I learned a lot there because it was my first restaurant job; he bumped me up to sous chef in a year.
What’s your style of cooking?
I love the kodawari aspect to ramen. It’s the Japanese mentality of doing everything to the extreme where everything is meticulous and precise. That’s just the way I work as a cook and a chef. Everything just has to be balanced and on par with each other. I try to create something new every time (with my ramen kits) because I do get bored very easily.
What’s a signature bowl of yours?
My roasted duck shoyu ramen. I’m classically French trained, so it’s a bowl that mixes that side with my passion for ramen and Japanese flavors. Think a really luxurious French onion soup with duck as the backbone.
Tell us about your handmade noodles.
I have eight types of noodles. I just made toasted malted barley noodles because I’m a huge whiskey guy and I love malted barley and beer as well. Others include: toasted rye noodles, whole wheat tsukemen noodles, toasted buckwheat noodles, and whole wheat.
Order on Instagram @ramentayosei