After 10 years of training in Tokyo, Toshimasa Sano, owner and chef of Ramen & Tsukemen TAO, opened his unassuming restaurant in Buena Park, specializing in ramen and tsukemen. Sano’s crafted culinary skills have paid off and his restaurant has now been granted the honor of the MICHELIN® Guide distinction of Bib Gourmand.
The MICHELIN Guide has been the gold standard for excellence in dining for over 120 years, with various distinctions dependent on specific criteria. The MICHELIN Guide Bib Gourmand is given for “exceptionally good food at moderate prices,” with the ability to order two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for under $49 before tax and tip. Restaurants that make it into the MICHELIN Guide must also serve fresh ingredients that are carefully prepared and provide an overall good meal. Anonymous MICHELIN Guide Inspectors visit the dining location to assess the quality of the food before making their recommendations.
Ramen & Tsukemen TAO puts their heart and soul into their food, especially into the Tonkotsu ramen and tsukemen dipping noodles that are accompanied by a broth that takes over 40 hours to prepare. Chashu, beef, spicy tsuna, and takana don rice bowls are also shining stars at this humble eatery. For a full smorgasbord, diners can also order a side of pork bun, karaage fried chicken, pan fried gyoza, and edamame.
Buena Park’s bourgeoning food scene now consists of several esteemed restaurants, some of which include Porto’s Bakery & Café, recently named Best of the Southland by the L.A. Times for their potato balls, Refugadios, and Cuban sandwiches. All-you-can-eat hot pot restaurant, Miss Shabu, made it onto Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in the United States with their premium meats and wide selection of broths. Known for their hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches, and cheese fries, Chicago-based staple, Portillo’s Hot Dogs, is the recipient of five Silver Platter Awards for Best Restaurant in the Country. SUP Noodle Bar’s light and flavorful pho was awarded the Best Pho in The OC by OC Weekly. Yoshiharu’s slow simmered ramen was deemed the OC’s Best Ramen House by the OC Register.