The gates of hell have been opened, and they are delicious. Located on 6555 Pardall Rd., HiWi’s previous location, One Piece Ramen is a noodle house that is quick to become Isla Vista’s newest ramen hangout.
One Piece offers a wide variety of Asian fusion options, from bento boxes and sushi to pork and vegetarian ramen. Their signature, however, is their Spicy Hell Ramen.
Hell Ramen has five levels, ranging in personal experience from “this isn’t so bad” to “oh God, why?!” It is served with the signature spicy broth, a large helping of ramen noodles and a few slices of pork belly.
Being a spicy food wimp, I went for the level one. The high-quality noodles worked perfectly with the melt-in-your-mouth pork belly, though the broth left more to be desired. A bit on the watery side with level one, the flavor did improve slightly with increasing levels, as the broth tasted mostly like broth with spicy oil added. The miso broth, however, had a creamy beef broth that was perfectly complemented by the pork belly and noodles.
The Hell Ramen was on the pricey side, with a level one costing $10.99 and a level five costing $14.99. The One Piece ramen and standard ramen was a bit cheaper, ranging from $7.99 to $10.99. Extra topping to the ramen cost about $1 to $2.50 depending on the topping.
If you are in the mood for a bit of a challenge, One Piece offers two. The XXL challenge entails finishing an XXL portion, your choice of rice or ramen, in 30 minutes. There is also the Hell Ramen challenge, which requires its victims to eat an entire bowl of level five ramen in 10 minutes — without water, of course.
The prize for each of these challenges is a free meal. So, are you down for the challenge?