2014 Ramen Round-Up: Bay Area Edition

Over two years ago I posted photos of 12 bowls of ramen and other noodle soup dishes I had consumed in the year after I came back from living in Japan. While it had been my intention to eventually publish “12 More Bowls of Ramen” or something to that effect, life got in the way of doing so in a timely fashion. But fret not, because I’ve finally gotten around to gathering all the ramen porn I’ve captured since my original post and I’m ready to share it here with all of you fellow noodle heads. And because of the huge backlog (you understand, I eat a lot of ramen), I’m breaking it up into a 3-part series based loosely on region. You’re welcome ;)

My first installment features steaming bowls of salty broth from San Francisco and other Bay Area/Northern California locales:

Tokyo Iza Ramen, Iza (San Francisco): best ramen in San Francisco. Only available at weekend lunch pop-up at Blowfish Sushi.

Tokyo iza ramen, Iza Ramen (San Francisco): my favorite ramen in the city, available only on the weekend as a lunch pop-up at Blowfish Sushi

Ramyun, Namu Gaji (San Francisco): Korean take on ramen. Seriously loved the bits of hot dog.

Ramyun, Namu Gaji (San Francisco): Korean take on ramen. Seriously loved the bits of hot dog

Orenchi tonkotsu ramen, Orenchi (Santa Clara): probably the most hyped-up bowl in the Bay Area. To me it was just a more homestyle version of Santouka.

Orenchi tonkotsu ramen, Orenchi (Santa Clara): probably the most hyped-up bowl in the Bay Area. To me, it was just a more homestyle version of Santouka. Not really worth the wait in my opinion.

Spicy garlic pork ramen, Ramen Dojo (San Mateo): another bowl with a horrendous line, only unlike Orenchi I think this one is actually worth waiting for. I mean, check out the presentation! It really is as good as it looks.

Spicy garlic pork ramen, Ramen Dojo (San Mateo): another bowl with a horrendous line, only unlike Orenchi,this one is actually worth waiting for. I mean, check out that presentation! It really is as delicious as it looks.

Tonkotsu ramen, Iza (San Francisco): Iza switches up their menu every weekend. I think I remember this one being not as good as the Tokyo.

Tonkotsu ramen, Iza Ramen (San Francisco): Iza switches up their menu every weekend… I think I remember this one being not as good as the Tokyo

Lobster garlic pork ramen, Ramen Parlor (San Mateo): with soft shell crab, no less.

Lobster garlic pork ramen, Ramen Parlor (San Mateo): with soft shell crab, no less

Tan tan men, Shoki Ramen House (Sacramento): spicy and very organic-tasting

Tan tan men, Shoki Ramen House (Sacramento): spicy and very organic-tasting

Tokushima ramen, Men Oh Tokushima Ramen (San Francisco): I don't remember much about this bowl, it's been a long time. My guess is it was completely non-offensive, but forgettable (they are a large chain)

Tokushima ramen, Men Oh Tokushima Ramen (San Francisco): I don’t remember much about this bowl–my guess is it was completely non-offensive, but forgettable (they are a large chain)

Kuro ramen, Maruichi (Milpitas): not one of my favorites, which you could probably guess from the looks of it

Kuro ramen, Maruichi (Milpitas): not one of my favorites, which you could probably guess from the looks of it

Lobster ramen, Sobo Ramen (Oakland): Entirely worth the LivingSocial deal, though not without it

Lobster ramen, Sobo Ramen (Oakland): Entirely worth the LivingSocial deal, though not without it

Tsukemen, Iza Ramen (San Francisco): the true standout at Iza

Tsukemen, Iza Ramen (San Francisco): the true standout at Iza

Not pictured: beef tofu ramen from Katana-ya in SF, which was so not even close to ramen it didn’t warrant a picture. Seriously, what did I ever like about that place??

Stay tuned for the rest of the ramen round-up, from LA, Hawaii, and beyond!

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