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Restaurants & Bars

Ramen and Spinach at Halu Restaurant in San Francisco

Melanie Wong | Dec 3, 200801:31 PM     4

Last month I crossed the Golden Gate Bridge late at night and headed to the Clement Street area to see what might still be open. I knew that the twins of late night: China First and Lee Hou would be there for me if need be. But no call this time, as the neon “open” sign for Halu was lit when I passed by 8th Avenue. And, there was a parking space right in front. This was my first time to Halu, and I took a seat at the tiny counter. I admired the Hendrix and Beatles posters while waiting for my order.

Even though I chowed here less than four weeks ago, honestly, I can’t really remember too many details about my shoyu ramen. In fact, I’m not absolutely sure that it was shoyu and not another stock type. I had asked for the noodles to be cooked “firm”, and they were softer than that and gummy. The broth was decent enough but lacking the intensity to be top grade. The egg was just salty with little other complexity. I liked the addition of corn. What saved this bowl from the basement was the buttery soft slice of chasu roast pork.

Shoyu ramen -
http://www.flickr.com/photos/melaniew...

What I liked much better was the horenso no goma-ae. A friend had said that when Halu came up in my ramen rotation I had to try the spinach. Good call! The version here has a crazy amount of toasted sesame for a crunchy, nutty play in the mouth.

Horenso no goma-ae -
http://www.flickr.com/photos/melaniew...

While Halu Restaurant can only rise to #20 for its ramen, the friendly service by family members and horenso no goma-ae place it high in my book. I would be very interesting in returning for the robata side of the menu.

PERSONAL RAMEN RANKING
1. Ramen Halu, 375 Saratoga Ave Ste M, San Jose
2. Santouka @ Mitsuwa Hokkaido Festival, 675 Saratoga Ave, San Jose
3. Santa, 805 S B St, San Mateo (pre-move)
4. Himawari, 202 2nd Ave, San Mateo
5. Maru Ichi, 368 Castro St, Mountain View
6.Izakaya Mai, 212 2nd Avenue, San Mateo
7. Ryowa, 859 Villa St, Mountain View
8. Tanto, 1063 E El Camino Real, Sunnyvale
9. Do-Henkotsu House of Tokushima Ramen, 4330 Moorpark Ave, San Jose (closed)
10. Gen Ramen, 47890 Warm Springs Blvd, Fremont (closed)
11.BY Grill, 3226 Geary Blvd, San Francisco (closed)
12.Norikonoko, 2556 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley
13.Hana, 4320 Moorpark, San Jose
14.Katanaya, 430 Geary Blvd., San Francisco
15.Masa's Sushi, 400 San Antonio Road, Mountain View
16.Gochi, 19980 Homestead Rd, Cupertino
17.Oyaji, 3123 Clement St, San Francisco
18.Sanmi, 3226 Geary Blvd, San Francisco
19.Maru Ichi, 530 Barber Lane, Milpitas
20.Halu Restaurant, 312 8th Ave, San Francisco
21.Hatcho, 1271 Franklin Mall, Santa Clara
22.Kahoo, 4330 Moorpark Ave, San Jose
23.Tomoe, 810 3rd St, San Rafael (closed)
24.Ringer Hut, 1072 Saratoga Ave, San Jose
25.Kumako, 211 E. Jackson Street, San Jose
26.Japanese Restaurant Hoshi, 246 Saratoga Avenue, Santa Clara
27.Ramen Club, 723 California Dr, Burlingame
28.Ryowa, 2068 University Ave, Berkeley (after ownership change)
29.Tazaki Sushi, 3420 Judah St, San Francisco
30.Ramen Rama, 19774 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino (closed)
31.Ogi-San Ramen, 10789 Blaney Ave, Cupertino (closed)
32.Kaimuki Grill, 104 S El Camino Real, San Mateo
33.Tanto, 1306 Saratoga Ave, San Jose
34.Okazu Ya SF (Noriega), 2445 Noriega St, San Francisco
35.King's Garden Ramen, 39055 Cedar Blvd, Newark (closed)
36.Sushi Bistro, 445 Balboa St, San Francisco
37.Genki Ramen, 3944 Geary Blvd, San Francisco
38.Mitsuwa Hokkaido festival booth, 675 Saratoga Ave, San Jose
39.Lakuni, 325 E 4th Ave, San Mateo
40.100% Healthy Desserts, 1155 Taraval St., San Francisco
41.Mifune, 1737 Post St, San Francisco
42.H2A Noodle, 42318 Fremont Blvd., Fremont (closed)
43.Iroha, 1728 Buchanan St, San Francisco
44.Miraku Noodles, 2131 N Broadway, Walnut Creek
45.Manpuku, 2977 College Ave, Berkeley
46.Tanpopo, 1740 Buchanan Street, San Francisco
47.Sushi Yoshi, 39261 Cedar Blvd, Newark
48.La Shang Niang Ramen (OEC), 42 Dixon Rd, Milpitas
49.Oidon, 71 E. 4th Avenue, San Mateo
50.Taraval Okazu Ya, 1735 Taraval St., San Francisco
51.Suzu Noodle House, 1581 Webster Street, San Francisco
52.Fresh Taste, 2107 El Camino Real, Palo Alto
53.Sapporo-ya, 1581 Webster St, San Francisco
54.Tokyo Ramen, 678 Barber Lane, Milpitas (closed)
55.Kamakura, 2549 Santa Clara Ave, Alameda
56.Mama-san!, 312 8th Ave, San Francisco (closed)
57.Katana-ya Ramen, 10546 San Pablo Ave, El Cerrito
58.Hotei, 1290 9th Ave, San Francisco
59.Bear's Ramen House, 2521 Durant, Berkeley

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Halu
312 8th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94118

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