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Aug 1, 2013 04:43 PM

Ramen Izakaya Goku open in the Mission [San Francisco]

A new ramen place owned by the same people as Men-Oh soft opened July 28th according to their FB page:

This is great news, since I was disappointed by my last visit to Ken Ken and Men Oh is probably my favorite bowl of ramen in SF right now. Will be checking it out soon and reporting back.

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  1. Went tonight with my husband. A very solid bowl of noodles. The noodles had a very nice bite. Both my husband and I got the tonkotsu pork noodles, which are available in five different degrees of spice. The extra-spicy had a nice heat to it (there is even a level above extra spicy, "hella"). The broth was rich and savory, but started to taste a bit one-dimensional by the end of the bowl. I personally prefer Men-Oh's ramen, which I feel is more refined. This was a rustic bowl, with fairly fat noodles, huge chunks of pork, and even some fried cubes of pork fat in addition to the bean sprouts, bamboo shoot, and nicely cooked egg--no rubberiness to the albumen and the yolk just barely set.

    My husband (unsurprisingly, since his tastes regularly veer towards being more fat-tolerant than mine) gives Goku the edge over Men-Oh. Between the two, they're probably our favorite ramen in the city as of right now. For comparison's sake, I'd say we like Ken Ken, found Ramen Shop in Berkeley to be sort of overrated, sometimes enjoy a fix at Ajisen or Ramen Underground, and I personally do not care for Katana Ya (my husband finds it decent). In San Mateo, we're big fans of Dojo, which beats out any noodles we've found in SF. And in L.A. and NYC, we love Tsujita and Ippudo.

    1. Had the rich tonkotsu ramen there yesterday. Noodles were good, pork was good, broth was very disappointing. Not much depth, very little pork flavor at all, and not very rich. Egg was WAY overcooked. Takoyaki was pretty good. Ankimo was decent but very forgettable. I'd give the meal a solid C overall. So many ramenyas popping up in SF, too bad they're all mediocre.

      1. I went tonight for dinner. I should preface this by saying I have a preference for Kyushu style Tonkotsu ramen. If that's the style you're looking for then you'll be disappointed. Like od_sf said not much depth and pork flavor did not come out. However, it was a solid bowl of ramen. The noodles were cooked perfectly, the menma was tasty and the chashu tender.

        I got two appetizers, the ika sugatayaki and the gyoza. The gyoza was cooked well but the filling tasted like it had been put through a food processor. The ika was perfectly cooked and the side of Kewpie mayo was a good accompaniment.

        One last thing, the waitress told me that the taiyaki was no longer being served. She said they were dropping it to "speed things along." The other reason I went there was to try this but now I'm not sure when I'll be back.

        My search for Kyushu style ramen continues...

        4 Replies
        1. re: Kashikoi

          Your quest intrigued me, not being familiar with all the different styles of Ramen.

          Searching revealed a range of styles within "Kyushu style"

          Can you describe more what Kyushu style you're looking for?

          1. re: drewskiSF

            Great description on the link. I would add, in my experience, Hakata style is a bit saltier than Kumamoto/Kurume. Kumamoto/Kurume can be fatty/richer as Hakata style.

          2. re: Kashikoi

            Did you catch last month's guest ramen-ya at Mitsuwa? This might be what you're talking about.

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              Unfortunately I missed this. I'll likely have to wait for my next trip to Japan for ramen that meets my approval.

          3. one of the 14 hottest ramen shops in the US? along with Oakland's Ramen Shop

            1 Reply
            1. re: drewskiSF

              Izakaya Goku is so mediocre, no idea how it could make that list.

              The big news for SF ramen lovers is that Orenchi is opening a branch in the Mission:

              Now that's worth getting excited about! We will *finally* have a very good ramenya in San Francisco!