The Path to Ramen Enlightenment

Ode to Ramen

How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.

I love thee for the many options of ramen

Flavors like shoyu, miso, and spicy miso are all so common

Your broth warms my soul on a chilly, wintery night.

I love thee when eaten with chopsticks and an Asian soup spoon

I love thee spicy, as you make my nose run

I love thee noodles, as you are more tastier than Chinese chow fun

I love thee toppings such as fatty pieces of pork belly.

Freshly made ramen puts packaged Top Ramen to shame

You taste much better without all the MSG things

Many will love thee as ramen continues to gain fame

Feelings of happiness and fullness as it brings

Broths, noodles, toppings, and so much more

The whole is better than the sum of its parts.

I heart noodles.  And not just any kind of noodles.  I’m talking about noodle soups or soup noodles… whatever way you would like to call it.  A big bowl of hot noodle soup is my idea of a perfect meal anytime of the year.  It’s what I consider the Asian equivalent to the American chicken noodle soup.   And the tastiest way to eat it is to twirl, slurp, and savor.

Yes.  That’s right.  I said slurp.  It’s the only way to eat Asian noodle soups.  I can’t imagine not slurping my noodles.  It just wouldn’t taste the same if I had to eat it without making any sounds.  I don’t know why Asians slurp their noodles.  I’ve heard several people say that it is a sign to the chef that you are enjoying their food.  I know people of non-Asian descent find it weird and rude that Asians slurp their noodles.  In fact, it bothers my Caucasian partner that I slurp my noodles at home.  But to my defense, I’m at home while slurping away at a bowl of noodle soup that I cooked.  Of course, I do not practice this when we are in public.  However, I probably would if we were in an authentic Chinese, Japanese, or Korean restaurant.  And honestly, I would love and welcome the day when my partner starts slurping her noodle soups.

Anyhow, let’s get to the real reason why I’m writing this post.  I’ve compiled a list of ramen places that we have or would like to try in the very near future.

1. Ippudo (New York, NY)

2. Santouka (Los Angeles, CA)

3. Daikokuya (Los Angeles, CA)

4. Izakaya Sozai (San Francisco, CA)

5. Katana-Ya (San Francisco, CA) <——– been there done this.  see review.

6. Namu (San Francisco, CA)

7. Oyaji (San Francisco, CA)

8. Hapa Ramen (San Francisco, CA)

9. Hotei (San Francisco, CA)

10. Tanpopo (San Francisco, CA) <—- been there done this.  see review.

11. Santouka (San Jose, CA)

12. Santa Ramen (San Mateo, CA)

13. Ramen Dojo (San Mateo, CA) <———- garlicky, porky goodness.  see review.

14. Totto Ramen (New York, NY)

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