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Jan 4, 2002 01:56 PM

noodles in Japantown?

  • c

Going to see a movie tonight at the Kabuki and wanted to grab a quick bite beforehand. We usually go to Sapporo-Ya, but I'd like to try someplace different. Any suggestions for good Japanese noodles in the area? Many thanks!

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  1. MIFUNE in the Japan Center is good. They have a large selection of both hot and cold noodle dishes.

    1. Hi cupcakes! (i've always wanted to say that to someone!) My Husband and i were in your predicament a few months ago, and i personally have eaten at almost every noodle joint in japantown and have been unenthused by pretty much all of them. It is slim pickings for a decent tasting not oversized bowl of noodle soup. However!, the last time we went we ate at On The Bridge in the mall, and instead of getting noodles, i got the chicken donburi they served there, and it was indeed EXCELLENT. perfect amount of saucy broth with the rice and enough vegetables and chicken all buried underneath a delicious fried egg on top. I ate the whole bowl and my husband, who is not daring in anyway when it comes to trying new things, actually ordered the Japanese style hamburger and polished the whole thing off. (it is basically a meat loaf type thing with lots of vegetables and sauce all over it, or at least that is what it looked like to me...)
      anyway, there has been a lot of discussion about "on the bridge" on this board previously and you might want to search it out and see if the description is to your liking.
      Have fun tonight and eat well, wherever you eat, and if you do manage to find some decent noodles, let us know.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Jupiter

        I think that I have been to all noodle-based stores in Japantown too. While becoming very disspointed too many times, I never got an excellent one.

        As written above, "On the Bridge" is a better choice. However, still "shin-nen" for many Japanese from Japan--in addition to California-born Japanese, I expect most of Japantown's dining places are VERY crowded this weekend.

        "i personally have eaten at almost every noodle joint in japantown and have been
        unenthused by pretty much all of them"

        1. re: Hiko Ikeda

          Actually, a lot of Japanese restaurants in Japantown and elsewhere may be *closed* around this time because owners are off to Japan for New Year celebrations.

          1. re: Wendy-san

            Unable to find good noodles in Japantown, I dragged my visiting brother across town for the superb (and inexpensive) ramen soup at Katana Ya at 98 Judah at 6th Ave. It was pounding rain that night and still the place was packed with noodle lovers. All of the other diners were Japanee -- we even recognized one couple we'd seen earlier in the evening at Kinokunya Books. So folks know to trek out to the Sunset for the really extraordinary broth and superb noodles. I recommend just the standard ramen soups (there are many, many of these) and not the miso broth, or the udon soups. The teriyaki is greasy and uninteresting. For another bright spot on the menu, try the onigiri. Enjoy. Hey, and they're open most days until 1 am! A perfect winter restaurant.

            1. re: Daniel

              Yes - Katana-Ya's a good neighborhood secret.

              My Japanese buddies at UCSF think it's the best place in the neighborhood for ramen and the like. (Yes - Hotei doesn't seem to cut it for them.) Katana-Ya's ramen soups can be rather greasy and correspondingly fragrant, which is just like ramen in Japan, according to some of these Japanese pals.

              I like their tempura on rice because of a nice layer of crispy fried onions underneath the prawns. Not necessarily as good as the ramen, but that's where my soft spot lies.

              1. re: Limster

                Now it may be the best time to "eat out" in San Francisco.

                Unlike Japan's major cities, most of California have only limited cold days.

                In addition, poor economy--especially in restraurants and hotels--"keeps" good chefs.

      2. s
        stett holbrook

        We went to Iroha last weekend (I think that's how it's spelled) and it was pretty good. Lots of ramen soups and great gyoza. It's on the second floor in that little court yard area across from Denny's.

        1. Not Japanese, but San Wang (or Sam Wong, or San Wong or other variations) across the street is famous for its hand-pulled noodles.


          1. Come people. Mifune. Where else is there for soba or udon? Ramen, beats me, Mifune's sister restaurant Iroha is not that great. I also like both of the Toraya's.

            Japantown is an odd place, or has become one in the last decade or so -- the sushi and Japanese food in general is below average for the city. I was really excited to see a place like Takara open. But there's still a lot missing. Yamada Seka closed a few years ago and now there's no place to get good, fresh mochi. (Benkydo is OK).

            1 Reply
            1. re: edwardpark

              "Yamada Seka closed a few years ago"

              I miss that manju shop.