Location: 1382 9th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122
I’m always on a quest to find the best ramen in any place that I visit. I’ve been living in Japan for the past few years, so I was curious to see how the taste of ramen would compare in my hometown of San Francisco. I heard from a friend that this was one of the best ramen places in the city, so I knew that I had to try it once while I was back. One thing that is really unique about this restaurant is that they have oxtail ramen, which is something I loved to eat growing up.
I also was excited to try it since it was a new restaurant in the Inner Sunset and it was close to my place. I remember that back in the day Izakaya Souzai was the leader of ramen on Irving, so it was interesting to see how this newcomer would fare in the ramen game. The usage of black truffles and olives in their broth was also something that I hadn’t heard of before, so I was really excited. In Japan, I’ve noticed that many places are started to create fusion ramen with unique ingredients as well, so I knew that the West would have to adapt to the changing times quick to get past the tonkotsu craze that was going on when I last lived here.
When we got to the restaurant, I immediately loved the wooden interior and the atmosphere of the shop. I ended up going with a friend whose sister came to the shop and recommended it. This is the guy who showed me where the best karaage is in Japan, so I had pretty high hopes coming into the shop. His sister tried the oxtail and she loved it, so we decided to follow suit and get the spicy ramen.
The first bite, I had I fell in love with the broth. It had a nice kick to it and it felt really rich in flavor. We both got the side of oxtail and I wasn’t disappointed. It was delicious. I tried a bite of the noodles and in the past, I don’t think I was ever too picky with my noods, but lately I’ve noticed that a good noodle can make or break a dish. I’m not too sure, but the noodles didn’t taste fresh to me. They tasted a bit like packaged or instant noodles. If I were to describe the dish, I would say it tasted like an extremely high-class instant noodle. This might sound like a bad thing, but honestly, I enjoyed the chewiness of the noodle. I think that the flavors worked well together, although it was a bit more Western than what I am used to eating in Japan.
Everything about the meal was great although price-wise it was definitely more than I am used to paying back in Tokyo, the whole meal set me back $23 dollars, unheard of in Japan, but in the Bay, you gotta adapt with the times.