The story: Hinodeya is a Japanese ramen bar that started in Hasuda station in Saitama Prefecture and is now headed by fourth-generation Masao Kuribara of Sasala Group. A year ago, Kuribara opened his first U.S. outpost in San Francisco’s Japantown with a ramen restaurant serving up the lighter dashi-based broth.
Why I went: I tried […]Read the full post →
The story: New ramen spots are highly anticipated in the Bay Area, but Marufuku opened under the radar earlier this year. Still, word-of-mouth has created a lot of buzz for the Japantown ramen spot (opened in a former ramen restaurant on the second floor of the Japan Center Mall) and the lines are often long […]Read the full post →
I’d first heard about Ippudo in Manhattan, where its reputation for delicious Japanese ramen noodles translated into long waits of more than 1.5 hours. Its popularity spawned a Westside location, but lines are still supposedly long for the hakata tonkotsu broth.
I didn’t realize that Ippudo was a major chain from Japan […]Read the full post →
The story: The one-month-old Shinmai brings another ramen shop to Oakland, and surrounds its noodle offerings with high-end izakaya small bites in a hip, splashy big space on the outer edge of the Uptown neighborhood. It’s the brainchild of Yingji Huang, who also owns Montclair’s Kakui sushi restaurant.
Why I went: Always on the hunt […]Read the full post →
The common refrain my friends and family heard while I was visiting is “Hawaii hasn’t really changed that much.”
Things move slowly here, and that also means things don’t change much, which could be a good thing because the islands are exactly how I remembered. But it also means there aren’t as many […]Read the full post →
The nice thing about the ramen frenzy in the Bay Area is that it comes in all forms, from the premium bowls at fancy restaurants, to counters serving up noodles and bar bites, and to pop ups where chefs are honing their skills in broth-making.
An example of the latter is Ippo Ramen, a pop […]Read the full post →
SAN JOSE, Calif.
I rarely visit a restaurant in its first official week of opening, but since I was in the South Bay already for a convention, I thought I’d swing by the new Jinya Ramen Bar in San Jose’s Westfield Oakridge Center.
In the ramen-obsessed Bay Area, it takes a lot of guts to […]Read the full post →
During this Thanksgiving weekend, I flew up to Portland for a quick holiday weekend to visit my sisters. But even though we had a big Thanksgiving dinner (we celebrated on Friday since I flew in late Thursday), I convinced my sister we needed to try the new Afuri ramen restaurant in Portland’s […]
The story: Nojo opened a few years ago in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley neighborhood, building on the izakaya craze for Japanese grilled eats. But the owners sold the restaurant last year to a Japanese conglomerate called AP Company, and it reopened earlier this year as a ramen restaurant with small bites.
Why I went: The […]Read the full post →
Today wrapped up the three-day J-Pop Summit 2016, the annual festival of all things Japanese pop — from anime to music to the arts. Of course, I focused on all things food.
J-Pop this year was primarily based at the Festival Pavilion in San Francisco’s Fort Mason (activities also took place at the Hyatt and New […]Read the full post →
The story: Chef Kyle Itani brought his Japanese twist to food at the Oakland restaurant Hopscotch, where he would explore his love for ramen with ramen nights. Last year he decided to make the ramen offerings a full-time thing with a new ramen eatery nearby, and after months of construction delays and anticipation (including several popular […]Read the full post →
UPDATE: After nearly 10 years, Ozumo closed in November 2016.
If you just look at my recent posts, you’ll know I’ve been obsessing about ramen lately. So when I was invited to check out Ozumo’s new Ramen Wednesdays, I jumped at the chance.
Ozumo is the large Japanese restaurant in Oakland’s Uptown neighborhood, with a […]Read the full post →
The relatively new Iza Ramen in San Francisco’s Lower Haight neighborhood started out as a weekend popup inside Blowfish Sushi restaurant in the Mission. I never got the chance to visit the popup when it was around the last two years but was happy to check out the permanent location, which opened last fall.
Iza […]Read the full post →
In the food-obsessed Bay Area, even a bowl of ramen can hold a lot of expectations, with people seeking unique toppings or rich, creamy broths. But that defies the tradition of ramen from Japan, where it’s found in every alley and eaten simply and quickly by the populace.
Ramen is food for the people, and it […]Read the full post →
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