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Unagi Iron Yakimeshi and Hyper Ramen at Dohatsuten (Palo Alto)

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My return visit to Dohatsuten was almost exactly a year after the first one. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6392...

Three of us ordered several items to share. We revisited our two favorites, the hotate croquette and Nagoya tepa, which were as good as before. An order of kimchi and the wakame salad gave us some crunch and greenery.

The Agedashi tofu, $4, was competent, presented well with waving bonita flakes and a lacy crown of shaved scallions and nori. Nuanced and complex dashi seasoning, but the exterior of the fried tofu slabs was a bit rubbery.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/melaniew...

The ramen menu has expanded considerably with more topping choices and now a deluxe signature offering, Hyper-Dohatsuten Ramen, $11.99, that we ordered. Our server suggested that we pick one of the lighter broths because there are so many toppings, so we picked the salt broth (shio). Funny thing is, the deluxe ramen with the abundant toppings was served in the same small bowl as the regular. Chashu, Chinese chives, bean sprouts, cabbage, spicy minced pork, soft boiled egg, stewed pork belly, green onion, corn, bamboo shoots, and Korean chile threads took up most of the volume. Sharing this three-ways, each of us got only a few spoonfuls of the broth and not much noodles. The shio stock was clean and simple, making a good foil for the pile of toppings, but I can’t really say much more about it or the noodles. The stewed pork belly was as buttery, tender mouthful, and the bacon cut chashu was an improvement over the last visit. Tasty jelly-yolked egg with a light seasoning broth was done to a tee as well. With the improvement in topping quality, Dohatsuten moves up a couple notches in the ramen rankings.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/melaniew...

Yet the best dish this night was iron yakimeshi made with unagi (grilled eel) and pickles. This is a crispy, burnt rice dish, the Japanese version of dolsot bibimbap, made in a sizzling hot iron skillet. Smoky fragrance and flavors, lots of fresh and pickled vegetables, and a soft egg with grilled eel that turned into some kind of wonderful when everything was mixed into the crisp bottom rice at the table. William returned here shortly after to try the curry beef version and reports that the eel yakimeshi is tastier.

Once again, while we enjoyed the ramen here, Dohatsuten’s other dishes are the reason to come back.

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. Alexander’s Steakhouse Lounge, 10330 N Wolfe Rd, Cupertino
9. Orson Restaurant Bar + Lounge, 508 4th St, San Francisco
10. Ramen Dojo, 805 South B St, San Mateo
11. Ryowa, 859 Villa St, Mountain View
12. Tanto, 1063 E El Camino Real, Sunnyvale
13. Santa, 1944 South El Camino Real, San Mateo (post-move)
14. Do-Henkotsu House of Tokushima Ramen, 4330 Moorpark Ave, San Jose (closed)
15. Sumiya, 2634 Homestead Rd, Santa Clara
16.Gen Ramen, 47890 Warm Springs Blvd, Fremont (closed)
17.Hana Japanese Restaurant, 101 Golf Course Dr, Rohnert Park
18.Izakaya Restaurant, 1335 N 1st St, San Jose
19.BY Grill, 3226 Geary Blvd, San Francisco (closed)
20.Norikonoko, 2556 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley
21.Dohatsuten, 799 San Antonio Rd, Palo Alto
22.Hana, 4320 Moorpark, San Jose
23.Ozumo, 2251 Broadway, Oakland
24.Muracci’s, 244 State St, Los Altos
25.Katanaya, 430 Geary Blvd., San Francisco
26.Masa's Sushi, 400 San Antonio Road, Mountain View
27.Nombe, 2491 Mission St, San Francisco
28.Gochi, 19980 Homestead Rd, Cupertino
29.Oyaji, 3123 Clement St, San Francisco
30.Halu Restaurant, 312 8th Ave, San Francisco
31.Sanmi, 3226 Geary Blvd, San Francisco
32.Maru Ichi, 530 Barber Lane, Milpitas
33.Hatcho, 1271 Franklin Mall, Santa Clara
34.Kahoo, 4330 Moorpark Ave, San Jose
35.Tomoe, 810 3rd St, San Rafael (closed)
36.Ringer Hut, 1072 Saratoga Ave, San Jose
37.Noodle Theory, 3242 Scott St, San Francisco
38.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
41.Japanese Restaurant Hoshi, 246 Saratoga Avenue, Santa Clara
42.Ramen Club, 723 California Dr, Burlingame
43.Ryowa, 2068 University Ave, Berkeley (after ownership change)
44.King Won Ton, 1936 Irving St, San Francisco
45.Tazaki Sushi, 3420 Judah St, San Francisco
46.Ramen Rama, 19774 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino (closed)
47.Ogi-San Ramen, 10789 Blaney Ave, Cupertino (closed)
48.Kaimuki Grill, 104 S El Camino Real, San Mateo (closed)
49.Tanto, 1306 Saratoga Ave, San Jose
50.Okazu Ya SF (Noriega), 2445 Noriega St, San Francisco
51.King's Garden Ramen, 39055 Cedar Blvd, Newark (closed)
52.Sushi Bistro, 445 Balboa St, San Francisco
53.Genki Ramen, 3944 Geary Blvd, San Francisco
54.Mitsuwa Hokkaido festival booth, 675 Saratoga Ave, San Jose
55.Lakuni, 325 E 4th Ave, San Mateo
56.100% Healthy Desserts, 1155 Taraval St., San Francisco
57.Mifune, 1737 Post St, San Francisco
58.H2A Noodle, 42318 Fremont Blvd., Fremont (closed)
59.Iroha, 1728 Buchanan St, San Francisco
60.Miraku Noodles, 2131 N Broadway, Walnut Creek
61.Manpuku, 2977 College Ave, Berkeley
62.Tanpopo, 1740 Buchanan Street, San Francisco
63.Sushi Yoshi, 39261 Cedar Blvd, Newark
64.La Shang Niang Ramen (OEC), 42 Dixon Rd, Milpitas
65.Oidon, 71 E. 4th Avenue, San Mateo
66.Taraval Okazu Ya, 1735 Taraval St., San Francisco
67.Suzu Noodle House, 1581 Webster Street, San Francisco
68.Bushido Izakaya, 156 Castro St, Mountain View
69.Fresh Taste, 2107 El Camino Real, Palo Alto
70.Asuka Ramen, 883 Bush St, San Francisco
71.Sapporo-ya, 1581 Webster St, San Francisco
72.Tokyo Ramen, 678 Barber Lane, Milpitas (closed)
73.Kamakura, 2549 Santa Clara Ave, Alameda
74.Mama-san!, 312 8th Ave, San Francisco (closed)
75.Katana-ya Ramen, 10546 San Pablo Ave, El Cerrito
77.Hotei, 1290 9th Ave, San Francisco
78.Bear's Ramen House, 2521 Durant, Berkeley

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Dohatsuten
799 San Antonio Rd, Palo Alto, CA

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  1. The picture of the ramen just looks wrong to me--can't see any ramen at all with all the toppings in such a small bowl! :-o

    2 Replies
    1. re: vincentlo

      True huh, they could have put rice or barley underneath instead of noodles!

      1. re: K K

        You'd think that if they want to have a "deluxe" version, they could invest in a handful of bigger size bowls for those orders. I think each of us had maybe two chopstickfuls of noodles and very little soup.

        It does crack me up each time I look at that ramen photo. Usuall menma (marinated bamboo shoots) are lying flat and floating languidly on the surface of the broth. in this bowl, they're positioned vertically and look like they're gasping for air!

    2. Truly worthy of their kanji name 怒髮天 ... anger, hair, sky, where the hair is probably those stringy thin chili's, but this one is more like an "everything in it" bowl, piled almost high into the sky. Only one piece of (visible) chashu?

      The chef(s) came from Gochi right? Can't remember. Hmmm I too haven't been back in a year+....only remember the yuzu miso broth, and the shio which the waitress recommended. I had two bowls during lunch because they were so small.

      2 Replies
      1. re: K K

        Yes, the angry hair refers to the Korean chile pepper threads. Only one piece of chashu, but also ground pork and stewed pork belly. All meat components were good quality, what this bowl needed was more soup and noodles!

        Yes, the chef worked at Gochi before. The dish to get is the yakimeshi, more unique and better than the ramen.

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          Teppan yakimeshi is such an excellent pairing with ramen (as opposed to cha han), or by itself, too bad it's not done as widespread as it is in Japan.

          Here's a display case replica of yakimeshi (even the fake one looks good) from Kagetsu Arashi ramen (Japanese chain in Taipei)

          http://lh5.ggpht.com/_aUwdtIPWXJI/S8K...

          It's $5 and they even cook it at your table, put in soy sauce, garlic butter, or if you prefer, curry butter.

          I suppose Pepper Lunch USA (Milpitas) is the other place where you can get something that (although most of the dishes are for beef with white rice.

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          Pepper Lunch USA
          408 Barber Ln, Milpitas, CA 95035