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The Ramen Shop with it’s hummm of peoples chatter and clink of drinks. Here’s a bento box of the miss match mix of what makes up Oakland. Vibrant, authentic and uniquely californian...yet japanese? Are we going crazy?
Seated at the kitchen bar next to all the action, the chef master bees buzz about, slurping, testing and slurping again to check the broth is still on point. The queen bee, or rather the King bee was evident. The scruffy looking guy in the vintage blue patagonia tee, Jerry JJ Jaksich.
Weaving through the crowd, our server plonks down what was suggested to me by local pro Hannah Chamberlain @spiritedLA - the vegan Meyer lemon shoyu ramen with a very non vegan yet vegetarian egg. With a suntory highball naturally. Going against the grain of the pork based ramen was an effort in the spirit of full disclosure but what ensued next was nothing short of amazing. The most delicate balanced broth (you should always start with sipping just the broth), with legit japanese noodles (yes they brought the machine back from japan), a great amount of other bits but that’s not important. This had to be one of the most satisfying, cleanest, new world ramens we’ve ever had.
Now the hardcore purists would not call this ramen but we should see this as a celebration of all that in Californian. Good produce, world class innovation, and something altogether more... more...well, more Oakland.
Ok i’ll admit it - we added chasu to the vegan option but it was on the side so suck on that. JJ the chef on duty apparently said it was a pro choice. Pro it is then. Hmmm now how do i round out this post? Naturally with all the photos you haven't seen yet. Suffice to say if you're in SF...