Restaurants & Bars

Ramen & Oyster Yaki @ Lakuni, San Mateo

Melanie Wong | Dec 5, 200403:26 AM    

Hmmm, has it really been more than three years since I was last here? (link below) This time I was on the ramen trail and ordered the one and only ramen offering on the menu at this izakaya establishement.

The fresh noodles were similar to medium-fine Chinese egg noodles, cooked softer than I would prefer. The chef added a pinch of this, a spoon of that, and more to the individual pot of bubbling broth on the stove. The dark brown and clear broth had only a few beads of oil and a sweet note that rounded out the shoyu and briny saltiness and complimented the pork flavor. The three thick slices of roast pork were tender, slightly fatty and tasty. Green onions were chopped fresh to order, and plain unfermented bamboo shoots plus a rectangle of nori completed the spare topping. This bowl was something to warm and fill the belly, but not something to get excited about.

What I did get excited about were the grilled oysters with “special sauce”, $5 for two. A pair of medium size oysters were shucked to order and set on the half shell, topped with a pinkish sauce similar in appearance to Louie dressing and a spoonful of tobiko, and then popped in the broiler. The special sauce turned out to have a kick to it, tasting like a blend of mayo and sriracha sauce and cooking to a custardy texture. I loved its piquant richness on the plump and tender oyster with the crunch and brininess of the flying fish roe. The oysters were cooked through, but no more, retaining all the juiciness and fresh sweet flavor.

There’s better ramen to be had elsewhere in San Mateo. But be sure to stop at Lakuni for the oysters before the “R” months end.

1. Ramen Halu, San Jose
2. Santa, San Mateo
3. Tanto, San Jose (clam ramen, prior to the chef change)
4 & 5. Ryowa, Mountain View and Berkeley
6. Himawari, San Mateo
7. Maru Ichi, Mountain View
8. Gen Ramen, Fremont
9. Masa’s Sushi, Mountain View
10.Tomoe, San Rafael
11.Do-Henkotsu, San Jose
12.Kaimuki Grill, San Mateo
13.Ramen Club, Burlingame
14.Sushi Bistro, San Francisco
15.Lakuni, San Mateo
16.Manpuku, Berkeley
17.Tanpopo, San Francisco
18.Oidon, San Mateo
19.Katanaya, El Cerrito
20.Sapporo-ya, San Francisco
21.Tokyo Ramen, Fremont
22.Hotei, San Francisco
23.Bear’s Ramen House, Berkeley

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