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agu a ramen bistro

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http://aguramen.com/index.php

i have stated that my favorite ramen in HNL is yotekko-ya
so please base your judgement on that scale

gyoza-
kinda skimpy on the filling, lots of cabbage, etc inside
my brother said, "similar to a korean version"
cooked crispy on one side
nice, but expensive for what you get

ramen-
mom and brother had kotteri tonkotsu
more substantial that yotekko-ya's paitan
not as oily as tenkaippin kotteri
interesting technique in that the base broth is placed in the bowl first and then the different tare are ladeled in, so that there are distinct "zones" of flavor until you mix them all together
noodles are thinner and straighter than i care for
i had jidori chicken stock+ shio version
supposedly from free range chickens that are fed only vegetarian food
they are advertised as "the kobe beef of chicken"
noodles are thicker and straight, and more yellow (i guess more egg) than in the tonkotsu
not as "chinese noodle" like that i didn't like at kiwami, but still not my preferred type

staff
had 2 waitresses and a manager
very good service, really explained their flavors and philosophy well
different from yotekko-ya, where there is commonly only one or two servers for the whole place

overall
despite all the plusses and service minuses at yotekko-ya, i still prefer it
i would go to agu again, but only if it were too late to go to yotekko-ya
(i only go when they open at 5:30 because otherwise the wait is painful)

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  1. thanks macsack, I noticed the place (where dakitchen used to be) for the first time while I was running errands Christmas eve.

    1 Reply
    1. re: KaimukiMan

      you're welcome, k-man

    2. i forgot to add
      the kotteri tonkotsu was very good
      complex, but very filling too
      jidori shio was ok
      i much prefer the shio ramen at yotekko-ya

      1. i checked out agu last night....ordered the spicy kotteri tonkatsu. they warn that their spicy levels aren't messing around. they rate their spice 1-5 with a 5+ if you want to go nuts with it. They say their 1-2 is mildly spicy and the heat cranks up around 3...so i ordered 3 just to get a gauge on everything. Their spice mix was indeed potent...seemed like a dry chili blend and a good dose of chili oil. too much oil for me, i didnt feel awesome after finishing the modest-sized bowl . I liked the spice, but i think the spice blend overwhelmed the broth flavors...so much so i wouldnt order it again. Granted, i didnt try the straight broth first - maybe should have asked for a little un-spiced on the side to really figure out what was going on flavorwise. and as macsak mentioned, the noodles are quite thin, and while still somewhat firm, they lacked the chewiness that i really dig in noodles...these really didnt do it for me. It was nice that bowl comes with an aji tama as well as some generous menma. there were a couple pretty thin slices of char siu that were tasty, but not really luscious at all. overall, i'm not sure. the noodles in the tonkatsu didnt excite me much, so when i go back i may try the jidori stock version with the thicker noodles. the service was quick and friendly, the decor is sleek and chill, and i do think they use good ingredients, so i'd be willing to give it another shot though the noodles may be a deal breaker for me personally.

        still prefer the tan tan at goma tei and gomaichi, spicy karamiso at santuoka (with tonriko pork cheeks), and the spicy tsukemen at kiwami over what i had at agu.

        3 Replies
        1. re: fatstern

          "Tonkatsu"? Don't you mean "tonkotsu"?

          1. re: WaipahuDog

            ya ya tonkotsu

            1. re: fatstern

              "tonkatsu" instead of "tonkotsu"
              World's most popular ramen mistake.