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Restaurants & Bars 4

Ramen @ Oyaji, San Francisco

Melanie Wong | Apr 4, 200502:31 AM

During the course of the year-long ramen run, I’ve built up a colorful photo collection of bowls of ramen, some of them prettier than they tasted, whereas the bowl of charshu-men shown below is the homeliest so far. This serving was from my second visit to Oyaji. My first visit had followed closely after eating at BY Grill. The styles were very different though quite similar in quality and nearly equal. Yet, I gave Oyaji the nod because it tasted more authentically Japanese and judged it the best ramen in the City just pulling ahead of BY Grill. But after the second visit I’d have to knock it down a few notches.

That first time in January, I liked the roast pork (charshu) so much, I was motivated to order the extra portion the next opportunity. As others have reported, Oyaji has consistency problems and the pork was not nearly as tasty the second time nor the rest of the fixings. The dark colored pork broth (not cloudy tonkotsu) scattered with bits of fat did not have the same depth and richness that made it special before. The deep-fried garlic slices and browned flavored oil were burnt and didn’t have the same intoxicating aroma and roasted nuttiness this round. The other garnishes were a small bit of scallion, bamboo shoots, half and egg, and underneath the square of nori, some plain corn kernels. The noodles became too soft the second visit.

I also tried tan yakitori (grilled pork tongue) and kinpira gobo. The chewy textured tan was fairly mild with salt flavor and was lacking in charry nuances. The gobo had a fresh crunch but the marinade was mostly sweet with little complexity.

Oyaji Restaurant
3123 Clement St.
San Francisco


1. Ramen Halu, San Jose
2. Santa, San Mateo
3.&4. Ryowa, Mountain View and Berkeley
5. Himawari, San Mateo
6. Maru Ichi, Mountain View
7. Tanto, Sunnyvale
8. Gen Ramen, Fremont
9. BY Grill, San Francisco
10.Masa’s Sushi, Mountain View
11.Oyaji, San Francisco
12.Tomoe, San Rafael
13.Tokushima Ramen Do-Henkotsu, San Jose
14.Ringer Hut, San Jose
15.Ogi-San Ramen, Cupertino
16.Kaimuki Grill, San Mateo
17.Okazu Ya SF (Noriega), San Francisco
18.Ramen Club, Burlingame
19.Sushi Bistro, San Francisco
20.Lakuni, San Mateo
21.Iroha, San Francisco
22.Manpuku, Berkeley
23.Tanpopo, San Francisco
24.Suzu Noodle House, San Francisco
25.Oidon, San Mateo
26.Katanaya, El Cerrito
27.Sapporo-ya, San Francisco
28.Tokyo Ramen, Milpitas
29.Hotei, San Francisco
30.Bear’s Ramen House, Berkeley


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