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32 Places

Melanie Wong | Dec 17, 201502:18 PM     3

Shiba Ramen, the creation of two chemists who were disappointed in the East Bay ramen scene, soft-opened on December 10 in Emeryville’s Public Market food court.

I had a chance to try it the next evening when traffic came to a standstill at the maze and I got off the freeway to find a bite. Shiba’s overhead menu was near bare when I got to the counter with only soy milk ramen, ice cream and beverages left. No wings, no gyoza, no other ramen variations. I believe there had been miso ramen earlier. There was one person ahead of me. When it was my turn at 6:20pm, the kitchen called out that my order would be the last bowl of ramen served that day. Everything was gone within less than 1.5 hours of opening that day.

Shiba has counter service for ordering and pick-up.

While I waited for my order, I had a chance to watch several bowls be assembled. The layout's not the most efficient. Bowls of noodles were carried gingerly around the counter, rather than slid through the pass, to the prep area where toppings were added. Then they're handed across to the front counter where they're placed on a tray with utensils for customer pick up.

Soy milk ramen, $9.50, is a veggie version. The soy milk soup base was quite thick and creamy, showing more heft and depth of flavor than other versions I've had. Some added oil or fat on the surface gave it extra roundness and enhanced mouthfeel. Salting was moderate, and I might ask for more on a future visit.

The noodles are sourced from Sun. They were cooked a touch past firm, but since the soy milk soup base was not that thermally hot, the texture did not soften beyond that. The quantity of noodles seemed a little stingy to me in relation to the other components. The three slices of too firm, undercooked kabocha on top seemed to be unseasoned and in need of salt or a good poaching liquid.

While I don't particularly like bean sprouts, these were fresh and crunchy. Other garnishes included daikon sprouts, and chopped scallions. The small seasoned egg with the soft yolk was the highlight of this bowl. Slightly sweet and soy sauce-based seasoning, the center remained ice cold, not picking up enough thermal transfer from the not-hot-enough soup base.

Shiba Scream, $4, featured Fenton's Swiss milk chocolate ice cream sandwiched between baked mochi. Shatteringly crisp, this was as crunchy as a fresh cone. The shape of the mochi shells caught any drips.

The owners and staff taking a breather (with Hot Italian pizza) after selling out for the night.

Shiba Ramen
5959 Shellmound
Kiosk #10
Emeryville, CA

Pricing includes service at Shiba. The credit card transaction doesn't suggest a tip.

Shiba Ramen enters my personal ramen rankings at #45. Bear in mind that this is an initial rating from its second day of business and for the vegetarian version. It's still struggling to staff up and train employees. With the level of care in assembly exhibited and more experience over time, I expect Shiba to move up the charts.

More about Shiba:

1. Ramen Halu, 375 Saratoga Ave Ste M, San Jose
2. Tsujita, 2057 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles
3. Tatsunoya at Mitsuwa Kyushu and Okinawan festival, 675 Saratoga Ave, San Jose
4. Himawari, 202 2nd Ave, San Mateo
5. Orenchi Ramen, 3540 Homestead Rd, Santa Clara
6. Santouka, 675 Saratoga Ave, San Jose
7. Maru Ichi, 368 Castro St, Mountain View
8. Izakaya Mai, 212 2nd Avenue, San Mateo
9. Shin Shin Men Men, 21265 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino (closed)
10. Gaku Japanese Charcoal Grill, 5152 Moorpark Ave, San Jose
11. Yonsei Ramen Shop @ Hopscotch, 1915 San Pablo Ave, Oakland (discontinued)
12. Ajisen Noodle, 47890 Warm Springs Blvd, Fremont
13. Maru Ichi, 530 Barber Lane, Milpitas
14. Ramen Dojo, 805 South B St, San Mateo
15. Shalala, 698 W Dana St, Mountain View
16. Kansui Ramen, 1185 Lincoln Ave, San Jose
17. Tanto, 1063 E El Camino Real, Sunnyvale
18. Izakaya Restaurant, 1335 N 1st St, San Jose
19. Alexander’s Steakhouse Lounge, 10330 N Wolfe Rd, Cupertino (closed)
20. Santa, 1944 South El Camino Real, San Mateo
21. Do-Henkotsu House of Tokushima Ramen, 4330 Moorpark Ave, San Jose (closed)
22. Ramen Tenma, 487 Saratoga Ave, San Jose
23. Hapa Ramen, 1 Ferry Bldg farmers market, San Francisco (closed)
24. Ryowa, 859 Villa St, Mountain View
25. Orson Restaurant Bar + Lounge, 508 4th St, San Francisco (closed)
26. Izakaya Sozai, 1500 Irving St, San Francisco
27. Sumiya, 2634 Homestead Rd, Santa Clara
28. Tamashii Ramen House, 3288 Pierce St, Richmond
29. Ramen Yamadaya, 1728 Buchanan St, San Francisco
30. Gen Ramen, 47890 Warm Springs Blvd, Fremont (closed)
31. Waraku, 1638 Post St, San Francisco
32. Hana Japanese Restaurant, 101 Golf Course Dr, Rohnert Park
33. Iza Ramen, 2170 Bryant St, San Francisco
34. Ken Ken Ramen, pop-up at The Corner, San Francisco (closed, moved)
35. Kyora Japanese Restaurant, 1217 Wildwood Ave, Sunnyvale (closed)
36. Sobo, 988 Franklin St, Oakland
37. Kotetsu Ramen, 2089 El Camino Real, Santa Clara
38. BY Grill, 3226 Geary Blvd, San Francisco (closed)
39. Norikonoko, 2556 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley
40. Dohatsuten, 799 San Antonio Rd, Palo Alto
41. Casino Bar and Grill, Bodega
42. Hana, 4320 Moorpark, San Jose
43. Ozumo, 2251 Broadway, Oakland
44. Men Oh Tokushima Ramen, 5120 Geary Blvd, San Francisco
45. Shiba Ramen, 5959 Shellmound St, Emeryville
46. Muracci’s, 244 State St, Los Altos (closed)
47. Ume Restaurant, 2214 Broadway, Oakland (closed)
48. Katanaya, 430 Geary Blvd., San Francisco
49. Tadamasa, 34672 Alvarado Niles Road, Union City
50. Noodle Me, America’s Cup Village concession, San Francisco
51. Masa's Sushi, 400 San Antonio Road, Mountain View
52. Ippuku, 2130 Center St, Berkeley
53. Super Mira, 1790 Sutter St, San Francisco
54. Nombe, 2491 Mission St, San Francisco (closed)
55. Gochi, 19980 Homestead Rd, Cupertino
56. Shimo Modern Steakhouse, 241 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg (closed)
57. Oyaji, 3123 Clement St, San Francisco
58. Ramen Misoya, 3541 Homestead Rd, Santa Clara
59. Chubby Noodle North Beach, 570 Green St, San Francisco
60. Ame Restaurant, 689 Mission St, San Francisco
61. Yu-Raku, 104 S El Camino Real, San Mateo
62. Namu, 439 Balboa St, San Francisco (moved)
63. Halu Restaurant, 312 8th Ave, San Francisco
64. Sanmi, 3226 Geary Blvd, San Francisco (closed)
65. Hatcho, 1271 Franklin Mall, Santa Clara
66. Kahoo, 4330 Moorpark Ave, San Jose
67. Tomoe, 810 3rd St, San Rafael (closed)
68. Ringer Hut, 1072 Saratoga Ave, San Jose
69. Noodle Theory, 3242 Scott St, San Francisco (closed)
70. Ramen Seas, 173 S Murphy Ave, Sunnyvale
71. Watami Shabu Shabu and Ramen, 5344 Geary Blvd, San Francisco (closed)
72. Where’s Buta by Elgin Espiritu and June Lee, Eat Real Festival, Oakland
73. Kumako, 211 E. Jackson Street, San Jose
74. Japanese Restaurant Hoshi, 246 Saratoga Avenue, Santa Clara (closed)
75. Ramen Club, 723 California Dr, Burlingame (closed)
76. Ramen.Co, Soy and Tofu Festival, San Francisco
77. Saiwaii Ramen, 2240 Irving St, San Francisco
78. Ryowa, 2068 University Ave, Berkeley (after ownership change)
79. King Won Ton, 1936 Irving St, San Francisco
80. Tazaki Sushi, 3420 Judah St, San Francisco
81. Ramen Rama, 19774 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino (closed)
82. Ogi-San Ramen, 10789 Blaney Ave, Cupertino (closed)
83. Kaimuki Grill, 104 S El Camino Real, San Mateo (closed)
84. Tanto, 1306 Saratoga Ave, San Jose (now Dan Izakaya)
85. Okazu Ya SF (Noriega), 2445 Noriega St, San Francisco (closed)
86. King's Garden Ramen, 39055 Cedar Blvd, Newark (closed)
87. Sushi Bistro, 445 Balboa St, San Francisco (closed, moved)
88. Nijiya, 1737 Post St #333, San Francisco
89. Genki Ramen, 3944 Geary Blvd, San Francisco
90. Mitsuwa Hokkaido festival booth, 675 Saratoga Ave, San Jose
91. Dan Izakaya, 1306 Saratoga Ave, San Jose
92. Lakuni, 325 E 4th Ave, San Mateo (closed)
93. 100% Healthy Desserts, 1155 Taraval St., San Francisco
94. Mifune, 1737 Post St, San Francisco
95. H2A Noodle, 42318 Fremont Blvd., Fremont (closed)
96. Iroha, 1728 Buchanan St, San Francisco (closed)
97. Chotto, 3317 Steiner St, San Francisco
98. Miraku Noodles, 2131 N Broadway, Walnut Creek
99. Manpuku, 2977 College Ave, Berkeley
100. Tanpopo, 1740 Buchanan Street, San Francisco
101. Sushi Yoshi, 39261 Cedar Blvd, Newark
102. La Shang Niang Ramen (OEC), 42 Dixon Rd, Milpitas (closed)
103. Oidon, 71 E. 4th Avenue, San Mateo
104. Taraval Okazu Ya, 1735 Taraval St., San Francisco
105. Suzu Noodle House, 1581 Webster Street, San Francisco
106. Bushido Izakaya, 156 Castro St, Mountain View
107. Fresh Taste, 2107 El Camino Real, Palo Alto (closed)
108. Asuka Ramen, 883 Bush St, San Francisco (closed)
109. Sapporo-ya, 1581 Webster St, San Francisco
110. Tokyo Ramen, 678 Barber Lane, Milpitas (closed)
111. Ramen Tomo, 4390 Telegraph Ave, Oakland (closed)
112. Kamakura, 2549 Santa Clara Ave, Alameda
113. Mama-san!, 312 8th Ave, San Francisco (closed)
114. Katana-ya Ramen, 10546 San Pablo Ave, El Cerrito
115. Hotei, 1290 9th Ave, San Francisco (closed)
116. Bear's Ramen House, 2521 Durant, Berkeley

Orenchi Ramen
Maru Ichi
TANTO Japanese Restaurant
Izakaya Sozai
Ramen Yamadaya
Iza Ramen
Sobo Ramen
Ozumo SF
Super Mira
Gochi Cupertino
New Oyaji Restaurant
Chubby Noodle North Beach
Noodle Theory | Rockridge
Kumako Ramen
Saiwaii Ramen
Tazaki Sushi
Nijiya Market San Francisco Store
The Store On the Corner
Hana Japan Steak House
Masa Sushi Japan
Gochi Japanese Fusion Tapas
Yu Raku
Ramen Seas
Nijiya Market
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