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Return to Do-Henkotsu House of Tokushima Ramen, San Jose

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Return to Do-Henkotsu House of Tokushima Ramen, San Jose

Melanie Wong | Apr 24, 2005 03:51 AM

Recently William met me at Do-Henkotsu in San Jose for dinner. This was his first time, and he commented on the lack of signage for the restaurant making it hard to find tucked into a back corner of the shopping mall. My previous visit had been a lunch time when most of the patrons were slurping bowls of ramen. At dinner hour, the majority of the customers seemed to be enjoying combination dinner sets. On the back wall a sign proclaimed that a new menu would be coming soon.

My brother ordered the large size of rib ramen (in the center), and I got the medium size niku iri (left side) that has an extra portion of the unique style of roast pork. We noticed that his serving didn’t seem to be any bigger.

We really enjoyed the noodles. They’re imported from Japan and have a nice snap to them. Scallions were freshly chopped and the bean sprouts were pristine and well-trimmed. The meat on William’s rib ramen literally fell off the bone. While it was tender, it was rather stringy in texture. We liked the roast pork --- thin slices of pork belly that are marinated and then roasted --- for the tasty seasonings and roasted complexity, but again, the texture was rather dried out and coarse.

The broth was much better than my first time when I ordered it with lettuce. I concur with “tanspace” that it’s back on form again. For the fat-phobic, the style here is relatively greaseless. Though more concentrated this go round, the broth is not a deeply meaty brew and tastes more of vegetable and seafood sweetness. William drank a bit more of the broth than I did.

We also tried the kara-age. It came out after our ramen was served. The large hunks of juicy thigh meat were infused with the marinade and fried to a satisfyingly crackly crunch. We used chopsticks, but this chicken would qualify for finger-lickin’ good.

Based on this better performance, Dohenkotsu’s rank rises to #8 from #14 in my book. William agreed with me that Dohenkotsu’s bowl was not as flavorful as Maru Ichi’s but better than Gen’s.

PERSONAL RAMEN RANKINGS

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

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