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Revisiting Asari Shio Ramen @ Himawari

Melanie Wong Aug 7, 2007 11:14 PM

Several months ago 'hounds reported that the ownership at Himawari had changed. I've been wanting to get back there to see how the ramen's holding up and a coolish day a couple weeks ago was the perfect time to drop in for lunch. My favorite and most often ordered bowl here had been the asari shio ramen (clam with salt broth noodles), $9.50. I decided on that for a hoped for best showing and asked for the noodles "hard".

Previous post on asari shio ramen (Jan 2005) -
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/33637

I'm happy to say that the clam ramen was as good as my memories. Maybe better with a more intense clam signature to the stock and this time topped with wakame. One less clam though, only four and these were somewhat overdone. Noodles were silky and firm, the way I like them. I loved the aroma of garlic and fresh green onions, and you can see the dusting of pork fat floating on the surface of the broth.

One difference is that I didn't taste any butter, and ordered some. Here's the photo before adding the sweet butter.

Image of asari shio ramen -
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1267/9...

It was tasty without it, but the addition of the butter rounded out the flavor and tamed the bite of the garlic. Himawari holds onto #4 rank based on this performance.

PERSONAL RAMEN RANKING
1. Ramen Halu, 375 Saratoga Ave Ste M, San Jose
2. Santa, 805 S B St, San Mateo
3. Ryowa, 2068 University Ave, Berkeley (ownership change?)
4. Himawari, 202 2nd Ave, San Mateo
5. Maru Ichi, 368 Castro St, Mountain View
6. Ryowa, 859 Villa St, Mountain View
7. Tanto, 1063 E El Camino Real, Sunnyvale
8. Do-Henkotsu House of Tokushima Ramen, 4330 Moorpark Ave, San Jose (closed
)9. Gen Ramen, 47890 Warm Springs Blvd, Fremont (closed)
10.BY Grill, 3226 Geary Blvd, San Francisco (closed)
11.Norikonoko, 2556 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley
12.Hana, 4320 Moorpark, San Jose
13.Katanaya, 430 Geary Blvd., San Francisco
14.Masa's Sushi, 400 San Antonio Road, Mountain View
15.Gochi, 19980 Homestead Rd, Cupertino
16.Oyaji, 3123 Clement St, San Francisco
17.Sanmi, 3226 Geary Blvd, San Francisco
18.Maru Ichi, 530 Barber Lane, Milpitas
19.Hatcho, 1271 Franklin Mall, Santa Clara
20.Kahoo, 4330 Moorpark Ave, San Jose
21.Tomoe, 810 3rd St, San Rafael (closed)
22.Ringer Hut, 1072 Saratoga Ave, San Jose
23.Kumako, 211 E. Jackson Street, San Jose
24.Izakaya Mai, 212 2nd Avenue, San Mateo
25.Ramen Club, 723 California Dr, Burlingame
26.Tazaki Sushi, 3420 Judah St, San Francisco
27.Ramen Rama, 19774 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino
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.Mitsuwa Hokkaido festival booth, 675 Saratoga Ave, San Jose
35.Lakuni, 325 E 4th Ave, San Mateo
36.100% Healthy Desserts, 1155 Taraval St., San Francisco
37.Mifune, 1737 Post St, San Francisco
38.H2A Noodle, 42318 Fremont Blvd., Fremont
39.Iroha, 1728 Buchanan St, San Francisco
40.Miraku Noodles, 2131 N Broadway, Walnut Creek
41.Manpuku, 2977 College Ave, Berkeley
42.Tanpopo, 1740 Buchanan Street, San Francisco
43.Sushi Yoshi, 39261 Cedar Blvd, Newark
44.La Shang Niang Ramen (OEC), 42 Dixon Rd, Milpitas
45.Oidon, 71 E. 4th Avenue, San Mateo
46.Taraval Okazu Ya, 1735 Taraval St., San Francisco
47.Suzu Noodle House, 1581 Webster Street, San Francisco
48.Sapporo-ya, 1581 Webster St, San Francisco
49.Tokyo Ramen, 678 Barber Lane, Milpitas (closed)
50.Kamakura, 2549 Santa Clara Ave, Alameda
51.Mama-san!, 312 8th Ave, San Francisco
52.Katana-ya Ramen, 10546 San Pablo Ave, El Cerrito
53.Hotei, 1290 9th Ave, San Francisco
54.Bear's Ramen House, 2521 Durant, Berkeley

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Himawari
202 2nd Ave, San Mateo, CA 94401

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  1. K K RE: Melanie Wong Aug 8, 2007 09:49 AM

    Himawari had a partial ownership change to be exact. One of the partner's Keisuke Suga, sold his share and used the dough to open up Nami Nami in Mountain View (he also owns that kaitenzushi place in Sunnyvale, Hanamaru but is looking to sell it). Basically KS sold his share of Himawari to the other partner(s) who now retain full ownership.

    1 Reply
    1. re: K K
      Melanie Wong RE: K K Aug 8, 2007 09:54 AM

      Thanks for the clarification. One other change, which might be important to some customers, if that the cute waitresses that Himawari was known for were no where in sight. Only men (cute in their own way!) waiting on tables when I was there.

    2. v
      vliang RE: Melanie Wong Aug 8, 2007 10:30 AM

      So glad to hear it's held up... I haven't been in months but this is my favourite bowl in the Bay Area period. Guess tonkotsu is just too heavy for me...

      2 Replies
      1. re: vliang
        Melanie Wong RE: vliang Aug 10, 2007 02:28 PM

        It's a standout and unique around here too. Do you add anything to it? I notice that it didn't have the grind of fresh black pepper. I almost reached for the shaker of chili but decided not to up the yang.

        1. re: Melanie Wong
          v
          vliang RE: Melanie Wong Aug 14, 2007 09:20 AM

          No, I usually don't add anything to it. But I like briney quality of it. Plus, yes... keep the yang down.

      2. Luthien RE: Melanie Wong Aug 10, 2007 03:30 PM

        I have to ask, what do you drink at Ramen Halu? *Every* single time I have been there, the cups smell heavily of bleach, putting my husband and I off our appetite such that we haven't been able to enjoy the ramen.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Luthien
          Melanie Wong RE: Luthien Aug 10, 2007 03:37 PM

          I love the complimentary ice cold jasmine tea at Ramen Halu. It's so fragrant, I've not noticed an unusual amount of bleach.

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