On a recent late evening in Japan Center, we ducked into one of the only still-open restaurants, Sapporo-Ya, for a healthy bowl of ramen. That plan was quickly foiled once we noticed an option called butter ramen, which should no longer be the secret domain of ramenistas.
Butter ramen is exactly what it sounds like, a bowl of noodles with a fat pat of butter floating on top. It's really a shock to see it when it lands on the table because butter is just not something that's ubiquitous at Japanese restaurants.
The broth here is salt-based, which appears to be a fairly common accompaniment. Sapporo-Ya's version doesn't include another typically paired ingredient, corn, but does have a variety of greens and a hard-boiled egg.
But, if you're like us, the veggies and condiments won't matter too much as you slurp. You'll just be fixated on how that pat of butter slowly melts and makes each bite progressively more wrong in the best way.