Oh, ramen. You’ve grown into such an important thing into a life. It’s not even the bowl of ramen itself anymore. It’s about the experience. The lines you have to stand in just to get a seat. The way waiters call your name. How they gingerly hold your bowl and place it in front of you, trying their very best not to disturb the beauty of the ramen’s experience. Every single ramen experience I’ve had was like this. Props to you, ramen people.
I’ve read somewhere of the best ramen places in the Bay Area and the number one was classified as this one (Orenchi). However, my opinion does differ. Orenchi was crowded right before it opened, and there was even a waiting list to get in. The ambiance, by far, was probably the best I’ve ever been in. The waiters were kind and did their best whenever they had a chance to get to you. The music playing sounded jazzy and was perfect for the place. Made me feel classy while eating ramen.
Before we get to ramen, let’s get to appetizers. What did I get this time? Fried chicken, right? Wrong! I got tired of it. Well, I didn’t get tired. I just thought I needed a change of pace. My friend ordered okonomiyaki fries and I ordered the wasabi potato salad. Unfortunatly, the waiter came back and informed me that they were all out, so I ordered the takoyaki instead. Odd, however, since we came during opening times. I was disappointed I didn’t get to try that wasabi potato salad, because it sounded really interesting. But I did appreciate getting the takoyaki, because who doesn’t like big juicy, gushy balls of hot batter oozing in their mouths? The takoyaki was good, but not was good as the one at Misoya. It just seemed less hot and fresh. I don’t know, it was just my third time trying it. But the okonomiyaki fries? They were just semi-steak fries with mayonnaise, bonito flakes, and what I assumed was bulldog sauce. But in short, it was the toppings on the takoyaki, just on french fries. Neat idea, but I probably wouldn’t order it again. I would enjoy trying to make it at home myself, though.
Now here comes the ramen. You’re probably wondering “Why is this review called Fat Boy Noodles?” Well, let me tell you. These were the first ramen noodles, at least to my memory, that were fat and juicy. All the other ramen places have had their chew and stretch on noodles, and so did this one, but these noodles seemed to be filled with the broth. Or they were made bigger. Either way, they tasted amazing and I wouldn’t complain if somebody just gave me the broth and noodles. It was that good. Well, the noodles anyway. I ordered the tonkotsu broth, and it was alright. Nothing like the mouth orgy like that of Santouka, which I also sort of reviewed. The egg was nice and runny, with its rich yolk blending in with the salty umamy pork broth. Too bad the egg was cold. Maybe that’s a thing, but I would like my eggs somewhat warm. At least not like one coming from the fridge. The mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and green onion were just staples of typcial ramen. But the pork? Excuse me? I am offended. One piece of pork? At least give me two. Why just one? I want more meat! It was nothing like the amount of meat you could feed a family with like Misoya. Nope. It was just one slice of pork. Sad. Just. Sad. You know what made it? The garlic paste. This is my first time encountering it at a ramen restaurant, or any restaurant for that matter, but I knew what it was and had to pile it in. I couldn’t taste much garlic in the ramen, but I just knew I needed it in my ramen.
How does this ramen place differ from the rest? Ambiance. By far, it has had the best waiters and experience, overall. Nothing else could have been done better. I just wish the food was better.