Just when the whole ramen-burger fad seemed to be waning, California Tortilla goes ahead and introduces the ramen burrito (ram-rito?). The Rockville-based chain rolls out the creation Tuesday at 40 locations across the East Coast.
So what does the love child of an Asian soup and a Cal-Mex burrito look like? Basically a tortilla stuffed with noodles, plus avocado, spinach, corn, cilantro, and Sriracha-pickled onions—because no trendy Frankenfood would be complete without Sriracha and/or a special pickle. Customers can pick chili-sauced chicken, steak, or pork for their protein, and add a special Bee Sting Thai Sweet Chili Hot Sauce for heat. (Cultural side note: There’s no tradition of ramen in Thailand—but then again, clearly no one is aiming for authenticity here.) The combination can also be ordered in bowl form, over greens.
To be honest, I’m a little disappointed in the lack of art in this particular ramen hybrid—there’s no “tortilla” fashioned from bound ramen noodles, no side of tonkotsu-style dipping broth, no chasu roast pork filling. Then again, as ramen master David Chang notes in his recent Lucky Peach article “The State of Ramen”: “I’ve heard tell of a ramen burrito—that’s the fucking end of everything.”