I try to watch for restaurant developments in Mountain View's small-town downtown, which I frequent, with its compact concentration of over 90 restaurants within a few blocks (one of the densest such clusters in the state).
As if to answer the third Pho house nearby that opened 10 months ago (Pho Garden MV, 29 January 2010), this downtown may soon have a third Ramen house, adding to the venerable and competitive Maru Ichi (aka Maruichi) and Ryowa (both about two blocks away). Incidentally Ryowa added its own Hiyashi Chuka last summer to compete with Maruichi's very popular one. Ryowa's version of that cold noodle salad was quite different, on a plate rather than bowl and with two sauce choices, with distinctive noodles, and I enjoyed it a lot, maybe even more than Maruichi's. It's a summer-only special at both places, unavailable currently. Ryowa also has the local monopoly on spicy Tsukemen or "dipping noodles," my favorite noodle dish there.
Tina's Kusina, the Filipino grill operating for a few years at 698 W. Dana (corner of Hope), closed recently. A new restaurant, Shalala, is under rapid construction in this compact corner site and looks almost ready to open. A worker at the site said it's a Japanese restaurant and another, on a different occasion, said it's a ramen house. That's my tentative information so far, but you can believe I'll try it soon. (I visit one of the other two nearby at least weekly.)
Needless to say, once it's up and running and gets any kinks worked out, assuming my information is accurate and it's a third local dedicated ramen house (Bushido nearby also offers ramen among many other dishes), Melanie's assessment and ranking on the Big List will be awaited with interest. (I've now referred many non-CH readers to that handy reference on the totality of Bay Area Ramenia.)
859 Villa St, Mountain View, CA 94041
Maru Ichi Restaurant
368 Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94041
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