RoboRamen. I (heart) Boba Café. Koreatown, Los Angeles.

Tomo arigato, Ramen Roboto!

You are painfully inebriated. The hangover beast has you in a lock even before the sun has risen. There’s a curious contraption at the back of the café that offers salvation.

Four single bills are sucked into the maw of the machine. It rejects the less crisp, favoring the flawless. The machine calls the shots. You need it more than it needs you and somehow it knows this.

The sign on its face reads “Speedy Hot Noodles” but this is more fantasy than guarantee. Some time later, another orifice is revealed and the machine dispenses your rapid repast — a small aluminum pan containing a broth of some kind with a slightly hydrated block of cheap instant ramen noodles. You break up and mix the coils of ramen yourself. The machine may have this capability but obviously isn't motivated to do so.

Skein of mein.

You discover bits of almost reconstituted mushrooms peeking from within the noodle entanglement. Frantically, you factor this into your calculation for the cost of a snack that for decades matched the price of a large gumball. No doubt, you’ve been had by a gadget that doesn’t remotely resemble a video poker machine, and it makes your hangover drop to a deeper level of hell.

With the aid of splintery chopsticks that come complimentary with your noodles, you hoist a mouthful to your lips. “It’s just like the twenty cents ramen back in college,” you grumble. Another slurp. Then, the vise grip on your head loosens. Suddenly, it’s worth every overpriced strand.

I Love Boba
1144 S Western Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90006

Check the vid!

RoboRamen from eric alba on Vimeo.


elmomonster said…
You: Brilliant. The Ramen Robot: Pointless. The video and essay: Priceless.
Eddie Lin said…
You: Da Bomb. Thanks for the lift. They're keeping you busy over in the OC, I see.
Unknown said…
you are the funniest-the machine is the grossest thing i've heard today
Anonymous said…
dude that looks awful. although i'm sure i will try it eventually. simply out of OCD.
edjusted said…
so wait...all i need is one of these and a portable generator and nuclear war/meteor strike/armageddon-ready! (i guess i better figure out a way to keep my dollar bills unwrinkled too)

your commentary was perfect.
Anonymous said…
OMFG!!! that machine better be in america.
Eddie Lin said…
the davis',

thanks for the compliment. the machine is not really gross, just greedy.


it is awful but you can overcome it. YOU ARE RAMENIAC!


yes, you will laugh at the apocalypse when you have one of these beauties. try out your counterfeit bills. it's only a machine.


this particular roboramen is in koreatown in los angeles at "i love boba" cafe. i don't know where you but i'm sure there are more than one of these babies in the u.s. of a!!
Anonymous said…
I wonder if I can install one of these in my house. I'm so tired and hungry after work and this would be perfect. Great for entertaining too. It makes the ramen, you throw in some extra veggies et voilà! I want stock in this company....
Anonymous said…
Unbelievable! And I thought buying an iPod out of a vending machine was wild.
Eddie Lin said…
ms. glaze,

great to hear from you! how is paris and life in the kitchen nowadays? when are you getting your own food network show??? that's where you belong!


yeah! buying an ipod from a vending machine. better have enough quarters, homegirl! i remember seeing one of those ipod machines in a macy's last xmas. crazy cool. thanks for the comment.