well here it is. my official take on kahoo ramen. keep in mind that i drove all the way up to the bay area in anticipation of trying out do-henkotsu and their fabled tokushima ramen. (i missed that sucker by like, 2 weeks!) and then i saw melanie's less than stellar take on kahoo ramen and was fairly disappointed, thinking i should skip it altogether and just go to the established superstars - santa, halu, etc...
maybe it was because my lunch at ryowa was so immensely unsatisfying that, despite being full, i still managed to trek it over to kahoo for a 2nd lunch. ryowa from like 12:30 -1pm, then kahoo from 1:30 until they closed for the lunch hour lol). needless to say, i TOTALLY came to regret even eating at ryowa ramen and not being properly hungry for kahoo, because the shoyu ramen (not the miso, not the vegetable, that other people seem to have disliked), was really THAT GOOD.
subtle, sweet, and light, made from chicken feet, pork bone, wafu dashi (bonito, aji or katsuo dried fish) and a sprinkling of fat, it reminded me of cutting edge tokyo shoyu ramen, all the rage these days. the flavors are subtle, maybe too subtle for a lot of people, but it's not supposed to be tonkotsu and it's not supposed to be hearty or overdone, at least not when done this way.
also, i really dug the pork belly cuts they used for the chashu, which wound up somewhere between chashu and buta kakuni (the stewed pork they serve at maru ichi and santa), without the heady shoyu and mirin marinade.
toss in the fact that the chef is NOT the old guy, but rather the young guy, one Sou Nakano, and you've got yourself a ramen shop with a lot of potential and quite possibly the best shoyu ramen in california.
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