Restaurants & Bars

First Time at Genki Ramen, SF

Melanie Wong | Jul 19, 200802:34 PM     12

Many moons ago, “singleguychef” had asked whether I’d tried Genki Ramen in San Francisco. Indeed I had, but at that time I felt I should give it another go before posting about it. My first visit was a warm Indian summer day in October 2007 when I tried the cold ramen, but I’ve not returned yet. Since it’s now summer and the season for cold ramen again, I thought it best to report now and not wait any further.

Stepping inside, I immediately noticed how much more spacious the room was than typically crowded and cramped noodle houses tend to be. Not just that I was the only customer, but the tables feel as if they’re spaced further apart. Contemporary in décor, this sense of style extends to the tabletop setting. Also, the complimentary pickled vegetables matched the logo colors and were cut into fanciful shapes.

Image of Genki tabletop -

Cold ramen has not tended to be the best foot forward in most of the examples I’ve tried. And, in this regard, Genki was no different. The knife work on the veggies was precise if cut a bit too big. I made a point to avoid the hard and pale cherry tomatoes. The noodles were ok in texture but nothing special. Served icy cold, it was hard to discern any flavor in the julienned roast pork (char siu). The dressing served on the side had a nice acidic tang and a bit of sesame but didn't taste particularly Japanese to me. The dressing didn’t unify the ingredients and this dish never really come together for me.

Image of cold ramen -

Since the noodles themselves weren’t terrible, I would be willing to return for one of the soup preps. But I’m in no hurry to get back. With so many new places cropping up, it may be a while before that happens. Genki takes slot #34 on the ramen ranking.


1. Ramen Halu, 375 Saratoga Ave Ste M, San Jose
2. Santa, 805 S B St, San Mateo (pre-move)
3. Himawari, 202 2nd Ave, San Mateo
4. Maru Ichi, 368 Castro St, Mountain View
5. Ryowa, 859 Villa St, Mountain View
6. Tanto, 1063 E El Camino Real, Sunnyvale
7. Do-Henkotsu House of Tokushima Ramen, 4330 Moorpark Ave, San Jose (closed)
8. Gen Ramen, 47890 Warm Springs Blvd, Fremont (closed)
9.BY Grill, 3226 Geary Blvd, San Francisco (closed)
10.Norikonoko, 2556 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley
11.Hana, 4320 Moorpark, San Jose
12.Katanaya, 430 Geary Blvd., San Francisco
13.Masa's Sushi, 400 San Antonio Road, Mountain View
14.Gochi, 19980 Homestead Rd, Cupertino
15.Oyaji, 3123 Clement St, San Francisco
16.Sanmi, 3226 Geary Blvd, San Francisco
17.Maru Ichi, 530 Barber Lane, Milpitas
18.Hatcho, 1271 Franklin Mall, Santa Clara
19.Kahoo, 4330 Moorpark Ave, San Jose
20.Tomoe, 810 3rd St, San Rafael (closed)
21.Ringer Hut, 1072 Saratoga Ave, San Jose
22.Kumako, 211 E. Jackson Street, San Jose
23.Izakaya Mai, 212 2nd Avenue, San Mateo
24.Ramen Club, 723 California Dr, Burlingame
25.Ryowa, 2068 University Ave, Berkeley (after ownership change)
26.Tazaki Sushi, 3420 Judah St, San Francisco
27.Ramen Rama, 19774 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino (closed for remodeling)
28.Ogi-San Ramen, 10789 Blaney Ave, Cupertino (closed)
29.Kaimuki Grill, 104 S El Camino Real, San Mateo
30.Tanto, 1306 Saratoga Ave, San Jose
31.Okazu Ya SF (Noriega), 2445 Noriega St, San Francisco
32.King's Garden Ramen, 39055 Cedar Blvd, Newark (closed)
33.Sushi Bistro, 445 Balboa St, San Francisco
34.Genki Ramen, 3944 Geary Blvd, San Francisco
35.Mitsuwa Hokkaido festival booth, 675 Saratoga Ave, San Jose
36.Lakuni, 325 E 4th Ave, San Mateo
37.100% Healthy Desserts, 1155 Taraval St., San Francisco
38.Mifune, 1737 Post St, San Francisco
39.H2A Noodle, 42318 Fremont Blvd., Fremont
40.Iroha, 1728 Buchanan St, San Francisco
41.Miraku Noodles, 2131 N Broadway, Walnut Creek
42.Manpuku, 2977 College Ave, Berkeley
43.Tanpopo, 1740 Buchanan Street, San Francisco
44.Sushi Yoshi, 39261 Cedar Blvd, Newark
45.La Shang Niang Ramen (OEC), 42 Dixon Rd, Milpitas
46.Oidon, 71 E. 4th Avenue, San Mateo
47.Taraval Okazu Ya, 1735 Taraval St., San Francisco
48.Suzu Noodle House, 1581 Webster Street, San Francisco
49.Sapporo-ya, 1581 Webster St, San Francisco
50.Tokyo Ramen, 678 Barber Lane, Milpitas (closed)
51.Kamakura, 2549 Santa Clara Ave, Alameda
52.Mama-san!, 312 8th Ave, San Francisco (closed)
53.Katana-ya Ramen, 10546 San Pablo Ave, El Cerrito
54.Hotei, 1290 9th Ave, San Francisco
55.Bear's Ramen House, 2521 Durant, Berkeley

Genki Ramen
3944 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94118

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