William and I stopped by Gen Ramen in Fremont on Friday for a first visit. Its open until 11pm now. William ordered the specialty of the house, Gen ramen, featuring spicy ground pork that Elisa L. and tanspace have reported on. I tried the takana kimchee ramen, topped with salty pickled veggies (takana), kimchee, spinach, bamboo shoots, chasu, green onions, and on the bottom of the bowl, some bean sprouts.
The kimchee had a little age on it with nice fermented flavors and a round hotness. This was my first exposure to takana, and I liked the combination of the kimchees sour and hot with the saltiness of the takana in each spoonful of broth. William liked the spicy pork quite a bit. It reminded him of the gritty ground pork in mapo dofu. He let it sink to the bottom and the spicy ground pork added an extra kick to the soup that was greater than eating it straight. He wasnt as fond of the flavors in mine, saying it was too weird. We both liked the basic tonkotsu pork stock here a nice glycerined weight and roundness with a sweet meaty taste but not as much depth and concentration as Halus. We drank all our broth.
As tanspace mentioned, the combos are rather top heavy. For the amount of toppings, there should be more broth and noodles to even out the balance. Also, I felt the servings were smaller for the $7.50 price than some of the other places weve tried. Yet, this was still a nice bowl of noodles and Id frequent it if I lived closer. Its certainly better than what Ive been able to find in San Francisco, so far.