What’s Up Men noodle house offers a slice of authentic Japanese fare

In Arts & Entertainment, Food
 Located in downtown Fullerton, What’s Up Men Japanese noodle house offers a cozy spot to enjoy authentic ramen. The family-owned restaurant delivers a straightforward menu, using quality ingredients in every dish. Although famous for ramen, the eatery also serves a variety of classic Japanese fare including donburi rice bowls, housemade gyoza and takoyaki fried octopus balls. (Breanna Vasquez / Daily Titan)
Located in Fullerton, What’s Up Men Japanese offers a cozy spot to enjoy authentic ramen. The family-owned restaurant delivers a straightforward menu, using quality ingredients in every dish. (Breanna Vasquez / Daily Titan)

What’s Up Men Japanese noodle house offers students a small, cozy environment for the forthcoming winter. The aroma of miso, pork and chicken fills the air while patrons contentedly slurp away at their warm soup. Forget those sad Top Ramen packages; this is the real deal. What’s Up Men’s thick noodles, flavorful broth and fresh ingredients bring the common college meal of instant noodles to a new level of quality.

The small restaurant is perfect for any student to enjoy authentic Japanese ramen during the day or night. What’s Up Men offers pork and chicken broth ramen, donburi (rice bowls), appetizers and crisp beer to soothe the body and soul on any cold day.

The kuro ramen bowl features thick slices of tender pork, bamboo shoots and soft-boiled egg. It is flavored with tonkotsu (a special broth made by boiling a pork bone for 12 to 15 hours) and shoyu (soy sauce). It is garnished with green onion, seaweed and a drizzle of garlic oil. The cha ramen is a dish whose popularity stems from its simplicity. Miso (fermented bean paste), flavored broth, bamboo shoots, soft pieces of pork and noodles are sprinkled with bean sprouts and green onions.

The donburi, or Japanese rice bowl dishes, are savory and hearty. Fried rice dishes, such as the cha-han with grilled pork, are one more reason to check out What’s Up Men. Fatty pork, scallions, fluffy eggs and perfectly soft white rice served with a side of crisp ginger pairs perfectly with a bowl of hot ramen.

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Although famous for ramen, the eatery also serves a variety of classic Japanese fare including donburi rice bowls, housemade gyoza and takoyaki fried octopus balls. (Breanna Vasquez / Daily Titan)

What’s Up Men also offers sake, soju and beer sets. The beer set is perfect for anyone who loves to drink beer and snack on an appetizer while waiting for his or her food. For $7.50, patrons can order an Asahi draft beer with a choice of edamame or yakko (cold tofu). For a dollar more, patrons can choose kimchi, gyoza, aged potato or sausage for their appetizer.

Although What’s Up Men doesn’t offer student discounts or specials, but it does offer lunch combinations that include a bowl of ramen and a side dish for $11. There are five different ramen selections and eight different side dishes to choose from.

Be prepared for a wait during lunch and dinner rush hours, as the restaurant seats only 10 people at the bar and about 25 at tables. The bar seats are the ideal place to sit because they offer the opportunity to enjoy dinner and a show. As in many traditional noodle houses, the kitchen is right before the eyes of patrons seated at the bar. The swift hands of the chefs on busy nights are exciting to watch while customers wait for their food.

What’s Up Men, located on the corner of Chapman Avenue and State College Boulevard, offers a comfortable setting, great service and authentic food. The restaurant is open until 1 a.m. seven days a week and takes the last order at 12:50 a.m.

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