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Spring Special Tantan Men at Ramen Halu in San Jose

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This year Ramen Halu served up TWO spring specials. In April I reported on the Miso ramen. This month I returned for the Tantan-men, as described here,
ramenhalu.com/new_tantanmen_ramen_english.php

The Tantan-men, $12.60, ordered with whole wheat noodles, regular spicy, in the overhead shot.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/melaniew...

That red oil slick looked deadlier than it tasted. “Regular spicy” hit medium on my capsicum heat register, just right for me, building up toward the end to a level that needed to be put out with some gulps of ice water. The salty and sweet notes of the complex miso seasoning and richness of ground sesame tempered the spiciness. Lots of concentrated porcine meaty depth in the thickish soup stock created a solid foundation to hang layer after layer of powerful flavors.

Here’s a closer look at the arrangement of the toppings. Out of view was a horizontal landing pad of boiled and pressed fresh spinach leaves aligned stem to stern with exacting precision.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/melaniew...

Not that much ground pork, but not missed at all in the explosion of flavors. The kikurage (wood ears) were whole, gigantic pieces, bigger and thicker than I’ve seen before. The freshly cut scallions gave up a bright green pungent aroma warmed by the hot stock. However, the slivers of Tokyo negi were fibrous and too tough to chew.

I especially loved the whole wheat noodles. The same thickness as the “Halu” fatter noodles, these were wonderfully chewy with a firm bite and a slightly nutty flavor. All in all, another great bowl of ramen from Halu.

PERSONAL RAMEN RANKING
1. Ramen Halu, 375 Saratoga Ave Ste M, San Jose
2. Santouka @ Mitsuwa Hokkaido Festival, 675 Saratoga Ave, San Jose
3. Himawari, 202 2nd Ave, San Mateo
4. Orenchi Ramen, 3540 Homestead Rd, Santa Clara
5. Maru Ichi, 368 Castro St, Mountain View
6. Izakaya Mai, 212 2nd Avenue, San Mateo
7. Ajisen Noodle, 47890 Warm Springs Blvd, Fremont
8. Orson Restaurant Bar + Lounge, 508 4th St, San Francisco
9. Ramen Dojo, 805 South B St, San Mateo
10. Ryowa, 859 Villa St, Mountain View
11. Tanto, 1063 E El Camino Real, Sunnyvale
12. Santa, 1944 South El Camino Real, San Mateo (post-move)
13. Do-Henkotsu House of Tokushima Ramen, 4330 Moorpark Ave, San Jose (closed)
14. Sumiya, 2634 Homestead Rd, Santa Clara
15.Gen Ramen, 47890 Warm Springs Blvd, Fremont (closed)
16.Hana Japanese Restaurant, 101 Golf Course Dr, Rohnert Park
17.Izakaya Restaurant, 1335 N 1st St, San Jose
18.BY Grill, 3226 Geary Blvd, San Francisco (closed)
19.Norikonoko, 2556 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley
20.Hana, 4320 Moorpark, San Jose
21.Ozumo, 2251 Broadway, Oakland
22.Muracci’s, 244 State St, Los Altos
23.Dohatsuten, 799 San Antonio Rd, Palo Alto
24.Katanaya, 430 Geary Blvd., San Francisco
25.Masa's Sushi, 400 San Antonio Road, Mountain View
26.Nombe, 2491 Mission St, San Francisco
27.Gochi, 19980 Homestead Rd, Cupertino
28.Oyaji, 3123 Clement St, San Francisco
29.Halu Restaurant, 312 8th Ave, San Francisco
30.Sanmi, 3226 Geary Blvd, San Francisco
31.Maru Ichi, 530 Barber Lane, Milpitas
32.Hatcho, 1271 Franklin Mall, Santa Clara
33.Kahoo, 4330 Moorpark Ave, San Jose
34.Tomoe, 810 3rd St, San Rafael (closed)
35.Ringer Hut, 1072 Saratoga Ave, San Jose
36.Noodle Theory, 3242 Scott St, San Francisco
37.Watami Shabu Shabu and Ramen, 5344 Geary Blvd, San Francisco (closed)
38.Where’s Buta by Elgin Espiritu and June Lee, Eat Real Festival, Oakland
39.Kumako, 211 E. Jackson Street, San Jose
40.Japanese Restaurant Hoshi, 246 Saratoga Avenue, Santa Clara
41.Ramen Club, 723 California Dr, Burlingame
42.Ryowa, 2068 University Ave, Berkeley (after ownership change)
43.King Won Ton, 1936 Irving St, San Francisco
44.Tazaki Sushi, 3420 Judah St, San Francisco
45.Ramen Rama, 19774 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino (closed)
46.Ogi-San Ramen, 10789 Blaney Ave, Cupertino (closed)
47.Kaimuki Grill, 104 S El Camino Real, San Mateo (closed)
48.Tanto, 1306 Saratoga Ave, San Jose
49.Okazu Ya SF (Noriega), 2445 Noriega St, San Francisco
50.King's Garden Ramen, 39055 Cedar Blvd, Newark (closed)
51.Sushi Bistro, 445 Balboa St, San Francisco
52.Genki Ramen, 3944 Geary Blvd, San Francisco
53.Mitsuwa Hokkaido festival booth, 675 Saratoga Ave, San Jose
54.Lakuni, 325 E 4th Ave, San Mateo
55.100% Healthy Desserts, 1155 Taraval St., San Francisco
56.Mifune, 1737 Post St, San Francisco
57.H2A Noodle, 42318 Fremont Blvd., Fremont (closed)
58.Iroha, 1728 Buchanan St, San Francisco
59.Miraku Noodles, 2131 N Broadway, Walnut Creek
60.Manpuku, 2977 College Ave, Berkeley
61.Tanpopo, 1740 Buchanan Street, San Francisco
62.Sushi Yoshi, 39261 Cedar Blvd, Newark
63.La Shang Niang Ramen (OEC), 42 Dixon Rd, Milpitas
64.Oidon, 71 E. 4th Avenue, San Mateo
65.Taraval Okazu Ya, 1735 Taraval St., San Francisco
66.Suzu Noodle House, 1581 Webster Street, San Francisco
67.Bushido Izakaya, 156 Castro St, Mountain View
68.Fresh Taste, 2107 El Camino Real, Palo Alto
69.Asuka Ramen, 883 Bush St, San Francisco
70.Sapporo-ya, 1581 Webster St, San Francisco
71.Tokyo Ramen, 678 Barber Lane, Milpitas (closed)
72.Kamakura, 2549 Santa Clara Ave, Alameda
73.Mama-san!, 312 8th Ave, San Francisco (closed)
74.Katana-ya Ramen, 10546 San Pablo Ave, El Cerrito
75.Hotei, 1290 9th Ave, San Francisco
76.Bear's Ramen House, 2521 Durant, Berkeley

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Ramen Halu
375 Saratoga Ave, San Jose, CA 95129

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  1. My wife ordered this when we were at Ramen Halu a couple weeks ago. We both liked it, but found it so rich and intensely flavored--and the broth so thick as to be almost more of a sauce--that it was difficult to finish the entire bowl.

    I've tried a few of Halu's special ramens now, and I think I still like their regular pork-based broth the best.

    3 Replies
    1. re: abstractpoet

      "so rich and intensely flavored--and the broth so thick as to be almost more of a sauce--that it was difficult to finish the entire bowl."

      Exactly, that's the intent of some of the very intense or highly salted styles here and elsewhere. It's a flavoring for the noodles, not a soup for guzzling. I don't drink all the soup either for these types. If I'd been hungrier, some steamed rice with what was left in the bottom of the tantan men bowl would have been in order.

      1. re: Melanie Wong

        That Tantan at Halu is the best tantan ever.

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        Halu
        312 8th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94118

        1. re: Afitzcharles

          I always love trying Halu's seasonal specials. Do you have other Favorites?

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          Halu
          312 8th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94118