The Ramen Yokocho Association is putting together “Ramen Street” in San Francisco’s Japantown this weekend, and of course I have to go… This event has been on my calendar for weeks, and quite frankly I salivate at the very thought of ramen ever since I ate my way through Japan 7 months ago. Actually, I’ve loved ramen since childhood when I was introduced to the instant packets at the tender age of 6. Real ramen is drastically different; it’s a remarkable combination of savory, slurpy, and smoothness.ate my way through Japan 7 months ago. Actually, I’ve loved ramen since childhood when I was introduced to the instant packets at the tender age of 6. Real ramen is drastically different; it’s a remarkable combination of savory, slurpy, and smoothness.
The event features 6 different ramen vendors, serving up all sorts of delicious broths including tonkotsu, miso, shoyu, and even a ramen burger. That’s right, a ramen burger with a crispy noodle bun! Just a little information nugget– Keizo of Go Ramen stakes his claim on inventing the first ramen burger.
The line up for July 19-20, 2014 in SF:
- Monta Japanese Noodle House serving Tonkotsu Ramen
- Men Oh serving Tokushima Ramen
- Fujin Ramen serving the Miso Ramen Burger
- Tatsunoya serving Tonkotsu Ramen
- Mattou Seimen serving Black Shoyu Ramen and Spicy Ramen
- Horaiya serving Miso Ramen and Spicy Miso Ramen
Here’s the lowdown on each vendor:
Monta Japanese Noodle House
- Has 2 locations– both in Las Vegas, Nevada
- Menu offers Tonkatsu, Shoyu, Tonkotsu-Shoyu, and Miso broth
- Solid 4 stars on Yelp
- Serves “Kurume” style ramen, which is original tonkatsu ramen made from pork bones and imported soy sauce, served with thin noodles
- Based in Tokushima, Shikoku
- 12 locations in Japan
- 3.5 stars on Yelp
- Has 2 locations in Northern California — Union City and San Francisco
- Serves “Tokushima” style ramen, known for it’s rich and savory pork based broth
- Menu offers Tokushima , Tokushima Tonkotsu, Spicy Tonkotsu, Chicken Shoyu, Tonkotsu Miso, Men Oh Deluxe, and Teppan Yakimeshi (this sounds excellent)
- 1 location in Southern California — West Covina
- 3.5 stars on Yelp
- Serves “Tokyo Tonkotsu” style ramen
- Menu offers Shio/Shoyu, Tomato/Clam, Miso, Negi-Miso, Miso Corn, Chashu Trio, Ton-Toro Chashu Men, Spicy Champon, Spicy Tsuke-men, Hakata Tonkotsu ramen
- Hails from Kyushu, Japan.. for reals… they make trips out to the United States every once in awhile.
- By the way, Kyushu is the mecca of Tonkotsu (pork-based) broth
- Makes annual appearance at the Mitsuwa Japanese grocery store in Torrance, California
- Blogged about by Go Ramen by Keizo
- Influenced by “Hakata and Kurume” styles…. which means pork, pork, and more pork based broth!
- From Japan
- Rumors of delicious Szcheuan style Black Mapo ramen served in the April 2014 Yokocho Festival in LA.
- Read on about the LA Yokocho Festival here and this recap too
- From Japan
- Rumors of miso based broth with wontons…. wontons?!
- Read more about this blogger’s recap of the Yokocho Festival 2014 here
- Come for the experience of attending a ramen festival, but don’t expect top notch ramen.
- Mattou’s shoyu broth was mediocre (initially bland but tasted better after 20 minutes), chashu was thinly sliced and cooked brilliantly.
- Mattou’s spicy broth was flavorful and worth trying– noodles were thick and chewy.
- If you are serious about trying ramen within a reasonable wait time, plan to come early!
- Divide and conquer with friends– split off into different lines and swap bowls to maximize broth tasting.