Do Kukai, Jinya and Santouka Have the Best Ramen in Seattle?

A Hawaiian food blogger once asked me about Seattle's ramen culture. Knowing how robust it was in Honolulu where the blogger lives, I was apprehensive about answering him. Here was the Seattle area, having as much claim as any big West Coast city to strong economic and cultural ties to Japan, a history of Japanese immigration and community, a... Continue Reading →

Tonkotsu Kara Miso Ramen at Santouka

Major construction on the northwest corner of Main Street and Bellevue Way prevented a friend and me from having lunch at La Cocina del Puerco because of the lack of parking spaces. So as I drove up to Hokkaido Ramen Santouka, I noticed no one standing outside waiting to be seated. Friend was agreeable to... Continue Reading →

Tonkotsu Ramen at Yoe’s Noodles (Bellevue, WA)

The Taiwanese presence in the Bellevue Chinese restaurant scene is unmistakeable. And why not? The Eastside city has a large demographic of Americans of Taiwanese descent. It was no surprise that Din Tai Fung established its first Northwest location in Bellevue's Lincoln Square complex. Many Chinese restaurants in the city, some explicitly serving Taiwanese cuisine and others... Continue Reading →

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka: Is the Experience Worth It?

To make our signature tonkotsu broth, we simmer pork bones for about 20 hours until it is pearly white. Finally, after such a long, low-temperature cook, we add vegetables, dried fish, kelp, and other savory ingredients. So explains Santouka's website on its approach to making ramen broth. It surely qualifies as the legendary dedication (some say a fanaticism) that... Continue Reading →

Porky Pig: Return to Ramen Fujisan (San Gabriel, CA)—CLOSED

At the spur of the moment, my daughter asked if we wanted to go out and have ramen for lunch. Sounded like a good idea. Since she'd never been to Ramen Fujisan, that's where five of us headed. Located along Valley Blvd in San Gabriel where there are more strip malls than you can shake... Continue Reading →

Ramen Fujisan (San Gabriel, CA)

"Thick noodles or thin?" "Heavy, medium or thin broth?" "Lean pork or pork belly?" "Firm, medium or soft noodles?" "How much oil do you want?" (more on this below) These are the battery of questions you get asked by the wait staff when you order ramen at Ramen Fujisan in San Gabriel. On top of... Continue Reading →

Kukai Ramen & Izakaya

The biggest Asian restaurant opening to hit the Eastside since Din Tai Fung has been that of Kukai Ramen & Izakaya. Kukai is a highly successful ramen chain in Japan. The Bellevue branch is the first in the States. No sooner had Kukai opened its doors than the lines started forming. For weeks, you could... Continue Reading →

Ramen at Fu Lin (Seattle, WA)

This was interesting. A Chinese restaurant that serves ramen and large signs in Japanese clearly in view behind the expansive storefront windows. A good friend of ours recommended this place for ramen. Located in the International District, Fu Lin has a special ramen menu, among which are included variations of shoyu, miso and tonkotsu ramen. Marketing ploy?... Continue Reading →

Tonkotsu Ramen at Ai Sushi (Bellevue, WA)

While I was getting my Hawaiian meal at Island Grill (see below), my wife was ordering tonkotsu ramen from Ai Sushi, also located in the Crossroads Mall food court. Let me first start off by saying that I'm always wary when a restaurant that does not specialize in it offers tonkotsu, a ramen that requires... Continue Reading →

The Bomb at Ton-Chan (San Gabriel, CA)—CLOSED

Before the crush of food preparation for osechi ryori, five of us headed over to Ton-Chan for lunch. A previous review of it is here. Instead of the usual Sapporo miso tonkotsu ramen that others ordered, I went for one appropriately called The Bomb, basically a miso tonkotsu ramen with spicy ground pork. As noted before,... Continue Reading →

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