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Jul 20, 2012 10:15 PM

Men Oh Tokushima Ramen, SF

From their FB page: We began soft opening our SF Geary location at 5120 Geary Blvd San Francisco TONIGHT (Fri 7/20/12)!

Fri 7/20/12- Thurs 7/26/12 Dinner ONLY 5:30pm-10:00pm

After 7/26/12: Hours Mon-Fri 11:30am-2:00pm 5:30pm-10:00pm Sat 12:00pm-10:00pm Sun 12:00pm-9:00pm

Men Oh Tukushima Ramen
5120 Geary Blvd, SF

My Union City report:

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  1. Tried it today. Had their signature Tokushima ramen, and added a seasoned boiled egg to see how they do it.

    Not overly impressed unfortunately.

    It's a nice looking ramen-ya, modern and cool decor. Friendly but very inexperienced staff.

    The good: The noodles were good: thin, yellowish & straight - reminded me a lot of Ichiran's noodles. Soft-boiled seasoned egg was good as well. Butabara pork belly was very good.

    The bad: really didn't care for the broth. First problem is that the broth was not hot enough. A bowl of ramen should come out of the kitchen with some hot steam, this was nowhere near hot enough to be steaming. Broth was gravy-like in both texture and taste, and even looked like gravy with its caramel color. Very heavy and a bit too salty. Could not really detect much pork bone flavor. Pretty one-dimensional flavor profile. The raw egg added to the gravy-like texture and heaviness without adding a whole lot of flavor. Could not finish it.

    This was my first time having Tokushima style ramen, so I have nothing to compare this bowl to. Maybe it's just not my style, or maybe this shop is just not very good.

    Will be back (maybe tomorrow) to try their tonkotsu ramen, and will report back.

    4 Replies
    1. re: od_sf

      noticed on their facebook they now have chicken kaarange. TOFTT?

      1. re: od_sf

        Hmm, I've been to Men Oh 3 times since it opened and it's my go to right now in SF (which admittedly doesn't say a lot). I was there last month and ordered the Tokushima ramen again. My bowls have come out more composed than Melanie's and the broth has been hot enough to swirl in the raw egg. I've attached a pic of my most recent bowl.

        Although I am new to eating eggs (used to hate them), I like the thickness and richness the egg lends to the broth. I prefer the Tokushima to the tonkotsu at Men Oh b/c of the more complex broth.

        I have only been there at peak lunch or dinner rush when there's been a line and my first visit was during the grand opening.

        My biggest complaint is with the inexperienced and confused service and the lag time with assembling the noodles in the back of the house. They have their mis en place in place but it's like molasses back there. It would be understandable if you were getting an artfully composed bowl, but...

        The younger girl waitress is nice but horrible at serving. She frequently forgets tea, water, etc. and told us they were sold out of beer as we watched other tables order beer. We flagged somebody else down to get a beer later.

        Definitely hit or miss with the service but I've liked my noodles there thus far, for what it's worth.

        1. re: Candice

          My service story is that I asked for change for the parking meter and offered up two dollar bills (enough to buy an hour). The server said he could only spare 50¢ and that he runs out of change as it is and has to get it from neighboring stores. He suggested I go to the corner store. Not a good customer service strategy on either front.

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            I agree. I feel like they need some basic training. Anybody with any common sense should notice that they run out of change, that customers need to feed meters, and solve the problem by increasing the amount of change they keep on hand.

            I think Men Oh has potential but the service and inconsistency make it hard to put on the regular haunts list.

      2. Second visit to Men Oh was much, much better. I had tonkotsu ramen, medium spicy, with extra green onions, and an order of the home-made gyozas. This time, the broth was steaming hot, not lukewarm like my first visit. Still liked the Ichiran-style straight noodles. Broth was flavorful and intricate. Gyozas were very good too. I think my first visit on their 2nd day in business, right at opening time was just bad timing on my part. So much improved this time around. Will now be on my regular SF ramen rotation along with Miki and Kirimachi. Picture below is of their medium-spicy tonkotsu ramen.

        1. From their FB page: We are pleased to announce the Grand Opening of our SF Geary location on August 4th, 2012. To celebrate our grand opening, we will be having a 2 day 50% off Special on August 4th and 5th at the San Francisco location. Ramen noodles (Tokushima, Tonkotsu, Spicy Tonkotsu) will be half price! (Except side orders and drinks)

          2 Replies
          1. re: hhc

            I hit the special today. Mostly a positive experience. I too don't really get the whole raw egg thing, and the soup wasn't served piping hot, so only some of the egg white cooked in the broth. Not concerned so much with the food safety angle but to my inexperienced palate this doesn't seem to add much taste or texture-wise. It may thicken the soup somewhat but I still prefer having a discrete egg in there. Thought the pork slices were very good though and the broth had a good flavor.

            1. re: bigwheel042

              Returned for a 3rd visit this weekend, and had the medium spicy tonkotsu ramen again. Unfortunately, not nearly as good as on my last visit. Broth not very hot, and not as flavorful as last time. Also, they forgot the boiled egg and chili. Hopefully they will become more consistent in a couple months.

          2. Had dinner last night with four others... No wait for the table.

            Three had the Tokushima style, while the others had tonkotsu... Unremarkable. At least they could've made the Tokushima style ones look like the bowl on their site... Plus we didn't get any bean sprouts as the picture(s) implied...

            I'll stick to the peninsula and south bay ramen joints, unless this one improves dramatically.

            Only impressive thing was the side of chashu don that a friend ordered... It was quite a large portion, and we wondered if they just didn't have the right bowl size... ;)

            1. After reading earlier posts about inconsistencies here, I was doubtful.
              Takoyaki as a starter was a pleasant surprise; this 'not typical' version has a hot 'n crispy exterior and a soft creamy center that delighted me. I would return just to enjoy it again; it is reminiscent of a bite-sized hush puppy without the cornmeal batter; or, not. Nevertheless, it's fried, it's hot, it's good. More tako/octopus would add to its perfection but since I'm not eating octopus, I enjoyed it for its hot-crispy 'n creamy bits.
              The tonkotstu broth was steamy with porky richness-nicely seasoned; the egg had its soft runny yolk; the pork belly and the char siu were both melty and toothsome; and the ramen hit the right notes to satisfy my appetite.
              I had the tonkotsu broth leftover for 'next-day'soup; adding cubes of a left-over baked potato with a can of clams, chopped green onion and a dash of togarashi.