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#11 Charshou Ramen @ La Shang Niang Ramen (OEC Shabu-Shabu), Milpitas

Melanie Wong | Dec 15, 200510:54 PM

Two weeks ago I followed up KK's lead for a new ramen place in Milpitas. Sorry to report, this one's a dud.

Outside the door is a certificate awarded by some Chinese agency to the parent organization for the best hand-pulled noodles. However, there's a noodle machine on display and in operation, so the noodles aren't handmade. Half the place is devoted to shabu-shabu and the other to ramen. When you step inside, one of the staff rather aggressively asks whether you're there for noodles or not and directs you to the right section. Unlike other Chinese-owned ramen shops that seem to be cropping up in this area, this one makes little pretense of being Japanese. The staff are outfitted in Japonesque attire, but they greet you in Mandarin.

The menu states prominently "Promise No MSG" (sic). The dishes are listed in Chinese and English with no Japanese. The menu offers 13 ramen varieties including two vegetarian offerings. I picked #11 Charshou ramen, $8.25, because it was *starred* indicating it was one of the house specialties. It's described on the menu as "6-7 charshou, green onions, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, seaweed, egg, soy-bean sauce, pork thin soup". I asked for the noodles cooked "hard".

As you can see in the photo below, the presentation lacks the Japanese sense of aesthetic and most of the toppings are submerged. The bowl had the promised number of slices of chashu, maybe even a couple more. I would have preferred fewer pieces of higher quality as these were on the dry side and tasted mostly of soy sauce. The stock was mild and pleasant with little shoyu influence or fatty richness. It was rather thin and light tan in color. I couldn't help thinking it would benefit from a shot of MSG and additional salt to give it more flavor. The green onions were dried out. The noodles were the best part, chewy and just a bit overcooked. They didn't soften in the bowl and if they had been delivered hard as promised, this might have made up for the other faults.

I'll put this as #39 on the ramen ranking.

La Shang Niang Ramen aka La Mian, Inc. aka OEC Shabu-Shabu
(In the shopping center with Lion market)
42 Dixon Road
Milpitas, CA 95035

Thanks to the shy 'hound who filled in all the addresses for the ramen list!


1. Ramen Halu, 375 Saratoga Ave Ste M, San Jose
2. Santa, 805 S B St, San Mateo
3. Ryowa, 2068 University Ave, Berkeley
4. Himawari, 202 2nd Ave, San Mateo
5. Ryowa, 859 Villa St, Mountain View
6. Tanto, 1063 E El Camino Real, Sunnyvale
7. Maru Ichi, 368 Castro St, Mountain View
8. Do-Henkotsu House of Tokushima Ramen, 4330 Moorpark Ave, San Jose
9. Gen Ramen, 47890 Warm Springs Blvd, Fremont
10.BY Grill, 3226 Geary Blvd, San Francisco
11.Norikonoko, 2556 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley
12.Hana, 4320 Moorpark, San Jose
13.Masa's Sushi, 400 San Antonio Road, Mountain View
14.Oyaji, 3123 Clement St, San Francisco
15.Niko Niko Sushi/Katanaya, 336 O'Farrell St, San Francisco
16.Hatcho, 1271 Franklin Mall, Santa Clara
17.Maru Ichi, 530 Barber Lane, Milpitas
18.Tomoe, 810 3rd St, San Rafael (closed)
19.Ringer Hut, 1072 Saratoga Ave, San Jose
20.Izakaya Mai, 212 2nd Avenue, San Mateo
21.Ramen Club, 723 California Dr, Burlingame
22.Tazaki Sushi, 3420 Judah St, San Francisco
23.Ramen Rama, 19774 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino
24.Ogi-San Ramen, 10789 Blaney Ave, Cupertino
25.Kaimuki Grill, 104 S El Camino Real, San Mateo
26.Tanto, 1306 Saratoga Ave, San Jose
27.Okazu Ya SF (Noriega), 2445 Noriega St, San Francisco
28.King's Garden Ramen, 39055 Cedar Blvd, Newark
29.Sushi Bistro, 445 Balboa St, San Francisco
30.Mitsuwa Hokkaido festival booth, 675 Saratoga Ave, San Jose
31.Lakuni, 325 E 4th Ave, San Mateo
32.Mifune, 1737 Post St, San Francisco
33.Iroha, 1728 Buchanan St, San Francisco
34.Miraku Noodles, 2131 N Broadway, Walnut Creek
35.Manpuku, 2977 College Ave, Berkeley
36.Tanpopo, 1740 Buchanan Street, San Francisco
37.Sushi Yoshi, 39261 Cedar Blvd, Newark
38.Suzu Noodle House, 1581 Webster Street, San Francisco
39.La Shang Niang Ramen (OEC), 42 Dixon Rd, Milpitas
40.Oidon, 71 E. 4th Avenue, San Mateo
41.Sapporo-ya, 1581 Webster St, San Francisco
42.Tokyo Ramen, 678 Barber Lane, Milpitas
43.Kamakura, 2549 Santa Clara Ave, Alameda
44.Mama-san!, 312 8th Ave, San Francisco
45.Katana-ya Ramen, 10546 San Pablo Ave, El Cerrito
46.Hotei, 1290 9th Ave, San Francisco
47.Bear's Ramen House, 2521 Durant, Berkeley

Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

Image: http://home.earthlink.net/~melanista/...

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