Now that Orson is serving weekend brunch, it's the place to go for the best ramen in San Francisco, says Melanie Wong.
The crown jewel is the cha su pork, "four generous slices of meaty heaven" that are tender and succulent, with the perfect hint of cured tanginess. They're paired with wide, hand-cut noodles that would be great if they weren't cooked in advance, but they're still nicely elastic. Unfortunately, the broth is "low on meaty intensity" and its spicing is harsh.
Elsewhere in the ramen world, Halu is doubling down on its spring specials with tan tan men, a spicy blend with miso and sesame seeds. It's rich, spicy, meaty, and slightly sweet. The broth is more like a sauce, too intense to really sip, Melanie says. The nutty, firm whole wheat noodles complete a great bowl.
Orson Restaurant [SOMA]
508 4th Street, San Francisco
Ramen Halu [South Bay]
375 Saratoga Avenue, San Jose