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Heading to Berkeley, looking for good Ramen place

w
wannab Jun 26, 2011 04:24 PM

Anyone know the best place to get Ramen?

Thanks

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  1. wolfe Jun 26, 2011 04:44 PM

    You may be out of luck but check kc72's link on this thread.

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/769924

    1. nfroio Jun 26, 2011 06:43 PM

      Cha-Ya on Shattuck (at Virginia) - serves a great bowl of vegetarian - vegan noodles (not Ramen per se) - darn tasty

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      Cha-Ya Vegetarian Japanese
      1686 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709

      1. drewskiSF Jun 26, 2011 08:43 PM

        Your best bet is probably Norikonoko on Telegraph, but Ramen is definitely not the best item on their menu.

        You'll need to go further south to Tadamasa in Union City or Dohatsuten in Fremont or the peninsula for top notch stuff.

        1. s
          slipson Jun 26, 2011 09:16 PM

          I suggest Ryowa Ramen house on University near Shattuck. Havent been for a while but was very good when I was there before.

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          Ryowa
          2068 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

          7 Replies
          1. re: slipson
            p
            PulledPork Jun 26, 2011 09:36 PM

            Noodle Theory on College.

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            Noodle Theory
            6099 Claremont Ave, Oakland, CA 94618

            1. re: PulledPork
              Mission Jun 26, 2011 10:10 PM

              Noodle Theory is located @ 6099 Claremont Ave, in Oakland.

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              Noodle Theory
              6099 Claremont Ave, Oakland, CA 94618

              1. re: Mission
                s
                sundeck sue Jun 26, 2011 11:15 PM

                A "no" vote on Noodle Theory. Not good balance in sauces, gussied up and disappointing.

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                Noodle Theory
                6099 Claremont Ave, Oakland, CA 94618

                1. re: Mission
                  drewskiSF Jun 27, 2011 12:18 AM

                  It's @ Clarement x College so you're both right :)

                  but I 2nd Sundeck's "no" vote.

                  At least when I tried their ramen (Miso Salmon) the salmon was very good, but the broth and noodles were sub par.

              2. re: slipson
                drewskiSF Jun 27, 2011 12:21 AM

                depending on how long "a while" is could mean a lot. Berkeley Ryowa changed ownership in the last couple of years and are affiliated with the Mountain View Ryowa now in name only. quality has steadily decreased since the change.

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                Ryowa
                2068 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

                1. re: slipson
                  t
                  timeo Aug 31, 2011 12:57 PM

                  I went to Ryowa about six months ago and it was terrible. Tasteless, bland and not worthy of being called ramen. The service is also terrible; I get the feeling that the workers there hate their jobs. Avoid avoid avoid.

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                  Ryowa
                  2068 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

                  1. re: slipson
                    oakjoan Sep 7, 2011 01:30 PM

                    I agree that Ryowa Ramen was great the last time I was there (and many times before that) but haven't been there for at least a year.

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                    Ryowa
                    2068 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

                  2. s
                    shanghaikid Jun 27, 2011 12:06 AM

                    2nd norikonoko as best ramen choice. ryowa's is like supermarket ramen. noodle theory
                    will disappoint the purist. kaarange is good at noodle theory.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: shanghaikid
                      j
                      jman1 Jul 2, 2011 04:38 PM

                      Ryowa is below standard. I haven't been to Ryowa in a while either (at least 3 years). But, it was really bad starting about 5 or so years ago when it changed hands. Unless it's gotten better, avoid. Didn't know about any good ramen in Berkeley; I never thought that it was even on the Norikonoko menu. How good is good? Worth a trip to Berkeley, or just the best of a not so good bunch.

                      (I just edited my reply; I confused Noodle Theory and another place. I've never been to Noodle Theory, so still on my "to try" list due to mixed reviews. i.e. not all bad)

                      Currently, SF has a passable ramen place (Sawaii), but nothing stand out. Not so happy with Tampopo for the past few years, nor any of the others I've tried (Katana-Ya, Suzu).

                      I usually plan to get my ramen fix down south (Orenchi, Shalala, Santouka). I'm told I need to explore mid peninsula ramen (never been a fan of Santa, but I've overlooked Ramen Dojo).

                      -----
                      Ryowa
                      2068 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

                      Noodle Theory
                      6099 Claremont Ave, Oakland, CA 94618

                      Suzu
                      1825 Post St, San Francisco, CA

                      Ramen Dojo
                      805 S B St, San Mateo, CA 94401

                      Santouka
                      675 Saratoga Ave, San Jose, CA 95129

                      Shalala
                      698 W Dana St, Mountain View, CA 94041

                    2. Melanie Wong Aug 30, 2011 07:59 PM

                      Musashi's website says it has a shoyu ramen special this week. Anyone tried it?
                      http://www.musashiofberkeley.com/

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Melanie Wong
                        drewskiSF Aug 31, 2011 02:47 PM

                        It was good, but not anything to go out of your way for.

                        Broth was very light and tasted chicken based (I prefer richer broths). The straight noodles were slightly overcooked (for me).

                        1 slice chashu was very good and best thing in the bowl. I think it was from the tenderloin, it was tender and sweet. It looked and tasted seared prior to slicing. Handful of bamboo shoots were very tender and also very sweet.

                        1/2 hard-boiled egg was cold and not seasoned.

                        Also some naruto, nori, spinach and green onions

                         
                      2. v
                        vulber Aug 31, 2011 04:22 PM

                        if you're more concerned about getting good japanese food than specifically good ramen, ippuku has amazing yakitori

                        1. Gustavo Glenmorangie Sep 2, 2011 09:11 AM

                          Ok. It's late on this topic, but I'll weigh in anyway.

                          Agreeing completely with the generally negative takes on Ryowa and Noodle Theory noted above. I've never understood why anyone would recommend Ryowa. Hardly better than the stuff you buy in a package at Safeway. Haven't been to NT in a goodly while, but I tried it a few times and was always disappointed.

                          Norikonoko is ok and will get you your ramen fix.

                          Not mentioned here is Manpuku (College nr. Ashby). The hadaka ramen is decent. Again, if you really need that ramen fix, it will do, but only if your expectations are modest.

                          But, for really good ramen, you've got to get out of town. And out-of-town here means a serious journey. If there's really good ramen anywhere from Richmond to Oakland, I haven't found it.

                          -----
                          Manpuku
                          2977 College Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705

                          Ryowa
                          2068 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

                          Noodle Theory
                          6099 Claremont Ave, Oakland, CA 94618

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Gustavo Glenmorangie
                            Robert Lauriston Sep 2, 2011 09:27 AM

                            Ryowa was very good a few years ago, especially if you knew to order the "special noodles":

                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/38562

                            It was sold in 2006, and quickly went downhill:

                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/476696

                            Sounds like it has gone downhill even further since then.

                            -----
                            Ryowa
                            2068 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

                            1. re: Gustavo Glenmorangie
                              j
                              jman1 Sep 3, 2011 09:40 PM

                              Yeah, Manpuku was the other ramen place that I was introduced to last year. Agree that it doesn't qualify as good. Interesting that my Oakland friend (who has spent a good deal of time in Japan) declared it good. Perhaps his standards have slipped; Oakland/Berkeley area seems to be lacking for ramen.

                              Yes, I used to enjoy Ryowa (earlier in the decade). My favorite was the Butter Corn Ramen. Wound not consider it today.

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