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Restaurants & Bars

Ramen @ Tomoe Japanese Restaurant, San Rafael

Melanie Wong | Jan 25, 200402:19 AM     2

Intrigued by “fredinski’s” recommendation for the salty Tokyo-style ramen at Tomoe, last week I called the restaurant at dinner hour as I was passing through to see if they might have an order of the lunch-only ramen on hand. I was in luck, there was some still and they’d set it aside for me.

It felt a bit weird to be here without my brother, who has been my partner in these ramen runs. In some ways, I was a little relieved to learn that there’s only one style of ramen – pork – here, meaning that I wasn’t missing out on tasting another flavor by eating alone. The stock was dark brown and clear, not the cloudy broth served elsewhere, with a glossy oil slick on top. It felt thinnish, lacking the denseness and sticky cartilagenous rich quality of Halu’s. The stock was indeed quite salty, greasy too with a natural bit of sweetness, not really good for drinking as soup. But it did lend wonderful flavor to the crinkly, thin noodles. Fortunately, I’d remembered to order the noodles firm or “hard”, and they were al dente. I liked the bamboo shoots better than Halu’s, and the roast pork was tastier and more tender than Santa’s.

Yet perhaps, the best part of the meal was the sweet woman, the wife of the chef, who takes care of the customers. She asked if I’d had the ramen before, as she didn’t recall seeing me before. She was flattered when I said I had heard about it from a “friend” and even more surprised when I said I lived in the City. She recommended Tanpopo for ramen in San Francisco.

Tomoe Japanese Restaurant
810 3rd St
San Rafael, CA 94901
(415) 456-3844

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