Melanie Wong | Mar 28, 200711:14 PM     27

Armed with KK’s news that the new occupant in the late Do-henkotsu’s space was open for business, I headed there tonight for dinner. We were lucky to get a table at 6:20pm, by the time we left, the place was full. It just opened yesterday.

Our waitress had difficulty describing ramen “with vegetables”, and it turned out to be quite different than what we expected. This is actually a stir-fry of vegetables with strips of fresh bacon. William had the miso version, and I went with shio, and consequently, we didn’t get to try the char shu topping here.

Images of shio ramen with vegetables, fried chicken and miso ramen with vegetables

Peeking into the kitchen prep area on the way to the rest room, I was pleased to see big bags of chicken feet defrosting. Unfortunately, none of their rich collagen texture or chicken-y depth could be found in the thin shio stock. Nor any distinctive salting, and for the first time ever, I reached for a salt shaker to add to the ramen. The noodles were fine textured, and even though ordered “hard” were not firm at all and turned soft quickly in the bowl. Though the floating bits of fat make this bowl look rich, it was anything but. Also, the heavy sprinkle of sesame seeds didn’t do much for me.

William’s dark brown miso stock was better with more flavor punch and a meatier taste, but still pretty average. Also, his vegetable and pork topping had bands of dark brown carmelized onions and the wonderful aroma of a hot wok, whereas mine were closer to boiled than stir-fried in character. His noodles had picked up much more flavor from the stock. They were also cooked closer to al dente and had more bite. We suspect that a trainee who still needs more time in grade did my bowl, whereas his order was prepared by a more experienced hand.

The star of the meal was the fried chicken, five big hunks of boneless thigh meat for $5, served with shredded cabbage, tomato, a wedge of lemon, and a squiggle of kewpie mayo. So juicy and tender with a lightly battered crust over the skin. The marinade was quite subtle and not over-soy sauced.

I’ll be back to try the shoyu stock with the regular toppings (char shu, egg, seaweed) after Kahoo has some time to get its sea legs. For now, I’ll place it at #20 based on the performance of the miso bowl. If I’d only tasted the shio bowl, it would be somewhere in the 40’s.

1. Ramen Halu, 375 Saratoga Ave Ste M, San Jose
2. Santa, 805 S B St, San Mateo
3. Ryowa, 2068 University Ave, Berkeley (ownership change?)
4. Himawari, 202 2nd Ave, San Mateo
5. Maru Ichi, 368 Castro St, Mountain View
6. Ryowa, 859 Villa St, Mountain View
7. Tanto, 1063 E El Camino Real, Sunnyvale
8. Do-Henkotsu House of Tokushima Ramen, 4330 Moorpark Ave, San Jose (closed)
9. Gen Ramen, 47890 Warm Springs Blvd, Fremont (closed)
10.BY Grill, 3226 Geary Blvd, San Francisco (closed)
11.Norikonoko, 2556 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley
12.Hana, 4320 Moorpark, San Jose
13.Katanaya, 430 Geary Blvd., San Francisco
14.Masa's Sushi, 400 San Antonio Road, Mountain View
15.Gochi, 19980 Homestead Rd, Cupertino
16.Oyaji, 3123 Clement St, San Francisco
17.Sanmi, 3226 Geary Blvd, San Francisco
18.Maru Ichi, 530 Barber Lane, Milpitas
19.Hatcho, 1271 Franklin Mall, Santa Clara
20.Kahoo, 4330 Moorpark Ave, San Jose
21.Tomoe, 810 3rd St, San Rafael (closed)
22.Ringer Hut, 1072 Saratoga Ave, San Jose
23.Kumako, 211 E. Jackson Street, San Jose
24.Izakaya Mai, 212 2nd Avenue, San Mateo
25.Ramen Club, 723 California Dr, Burlingame
26.Tazaki Sushi, 3420 Judah St, San Francisco
27.Ramen Rama, 19774 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino
28.Ogi-San Ramen, 10789 Blaney Ave, Cupertino (closed)
29.Kaimuki Grill, 104 S El Camino Real, San Mateo
30.Tanto, 1306 Saratoga Ave, San Jose
31.Okazu Ya SF (Noriega), 2445 Noriega St, San Francisco
32.King's Garden Ramen, 39055 Cedar Blvd, Newark (closed)
33.Sushi Bistro, 445 Balboa St, San Francisco
34.Mitsuwa Hokkaido festival booth, 675 Saratoga Ave, San Jose
35.Lakuni, 325 E 4th Ave, San Mateo
36.100% Healthy Desserts, 1155 Taraval St., San Francisco
37.Mifune, 1737 Post St, San Francisco
38.H2A Noodle, 42318 Fremont Blvd., Fremont
39.Iroha, 1728 Buchanan St, San Francisco
40.Miraku Noodles, 2131 N Broadway, Walnut Creek
41.Manpuku, 2977 College Ave, Berkeley
42.Tanpopo, 1740 Buchanan Street, San Francisco
43.Sushi Yoshi, 39261 Cedar Blvd, Newark
44.La Shang Niang Ramen (OEC), 42 Dixon Rd, Milpitas
45.Oidon, 71 E. 4th Avenue, San Mateo
46.Taraval Okazu Ya, 1735 Taraval St., San Francisco
47.Suzu Noodle House, 1581 Webster Street, San Francisco
48.Sapporo-ya, 1581 Webster St, San Francisco
49.Tokyo Ramen, 678 Barber Lane, Milpitas (closed)
50.Kamakura, 2549 Santa Clara Ave, Alameda
51.Mama-san!, 312 8th Ave, San Francisco
52.Katana-ya Ramen, 10546 San Pablo Ave, El Cerrito
53.Hotei, 1290 9th Ave, San Francisco
54.Bear's Ramen House, 2521 Durant, Berkeley

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