Tonight G and I went to Suzu, the new Japantown noodle shop in SF, after hearing about it here. Having worked in San Mateo and enjoying ready access to Santa for a couple of years, I have to say I was very disappointed in Suzu. We walked in to find two tables in use out of about eight. The waiter was polite and the food came quickly. The gyoza and noodles both seemed reheated from frozen to me, and they did nothing to recommend the dishes. G had the regular ramen and I had the karaage ramen (noodles with deep-fried chicken in place of the pork). We both thought the broth was okay -- a good amount of grease and not too salty or overpowering; better than the broth at Sapporo-Ya directly upstairs (though Sapporo-Ya's noodles, made in the shop, are still better than any other ramen noodles in SF for my money) but nowhere near as good or flavorful as Santa's. The seaweed and green onions were fine; the bamboo shoots were tough and unpleasant. My chicken pieces were quite gristly. The bill was $20 for the two of us.
I liked the people, and we didn't try the soba recommended by the last poster, so more research may be needed. I'm hoping that going in the first week, we found the restaurant before it has really found its mark, but I'm afraid that if the noodles are so far from fresh, I'll never be that excited about it.
Here's hoping that SF one day gains a peer to Santa or Ramen Halu! Plenty of people peered in the window at us as we ate, looking desperately for happy noodle-slurpers -- I suspect a great ramen shop would be packed from the moment it opened.
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