Bon Vivant's written and pictorial diary of her culinary adventures that will amuse and excite your virtual taste buds...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Santouka Ramen - I would kill for a bowl of shio ramen right about now

The weather has been perfect in Napa and the pool has stayed blue. It takes me about 30 minutes to get to my favorite food stores in Berkeley. The best Ranch 99 is in Albany. I have finally found a way to avoid driving through American Canyon to and fro Napa. Could anything lure me back to LA now? Perhaps there is one thing, something that I cannot find even up here: a steaming bowl of Santouka’s shio ramen with special pork.

Surely, Dear Reader, you’ve this experience: you taste a dish for the first time and it’s so brilliant that you remember it forever. I had this experience when I tasted the miso ramen with special pork:

And the spicy miso ramen:

However, both miso ramens pale in comparison to the shio ramen:

How can I describe the taste? To paraphrase my good friend, Monsieur De…, it’s just so fucking sexy. Now, with very few exceptions, other ramen broths just taste like salted water to me. You take one sip of the shio broth and you say, “wow!” – it’s just so rich and deep in flavor. Is this what umami tastes like?

Let’s get a closeup this luscious pork:

Now, I’ve felt this way about ramen before. The meal that I had at Momofuku Noodle Bar in October ’05 was one of the best in my life (and I went to Per Se during that trip as well).

How did the miso ramen at Santouka Ramen compare to glorious Momofuku Ramen last year?

And which is the favorite between the two this year? Let's hear the verdict:

If you are really hungry, you can get ramen sets with various rice bowls like salmon roe and more pork!

I’ve recently discovered that there is a Mitsuwa Marketplace in San Jose but unfortunately, no Santouka Ramen (it appears that along with Downtown LA and San Gabriel, San Jose is the only other store in the country without a Santouka.)

Santouka Ramen
Mitsuwa Marketplace
3760 Centinela Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90066

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

What the hell happened to you? Nothing for months. I almost took your blog off from my bookmarks. Consider yourself warned!

7:49 PM

Blogger Bon Vivant said...

Thanks, anon, I needed that! I promise to be more diligent in the future. I guess that I've been drinking too much wine of late.

10:26 AM

Blogger Food, she thought. said...

that all looks delicious. I love the concept of your blog, I just bookmarked it.

1:58 PM

Blogger Bon Vivant said...

Hi, Food, and thanks for stopping by my blog. I really like your blog too!

10:10 PM

Anonymous karens said...

Hey there:

Just ate there and loooved it. Miss you. k

11:12 AM

Blogger HappyGuy402 said...

Please try the Ramen Halu on the Saratoga Road in Santa Clara, I think you would like their ramen and broth.

8:44 PM

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