Monday, March 21, 2011

Japanese Ramen in the SF Bay Area

I have been a connoisseur of Americanized Japanese ramen for some time now ever since I was introduced to the original Santa Ramen on 9th Street in San Mateo.  Santa Ramen was my favorite ramen place for quite some time until I discovered Raman Dojo (which opened up in the old Santa Ramen location) and now Orenchi.

I visited Orenchi the weekend before my diet started, and I have to say this has been the best ramen experience I have had to date.  The broth is both flavorful without being too greasy, and the egg was soft boiled to perfection.  The only downside is Orenchi only accepts cash as payment -- should have expected any good Asian restaurant only accepts cash.

I have also frequented other locations closer to my stomping grounds when I don't feel like traveling too far.  Himawari I think is slightly over rated.  Don't get me wrong, I really like their ramen, but when there is such a concentration of other better ramen houses (Ramen Dojo, Santa Ramen) nearby, it's hard for me to recommend this location.

That being said, their broth is also a lot lighter, but less flavorful than Orenchi.  Ramen Dojo and Santa Ramen both win out because their broth is much richer, but unfortunately, also heavier and greasier.

Lastly, for a quick bite, there is the Ramen Club in Burlingame on California Ave.  This combination sushi and ramen house is run by a Chinese family and they have ramens with Chinese, Japanese, and Korean influence.  The ramen is good, but the broth again is sub par when compared to its local counterparts.

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