Saturday, November 21, 2009


Ever since our fantastic ramen forays at Ippudo in NYC, MC2 and I had been jonesing for something that might satisfy our noodle cravings here in SF.

The question was where to go? I asked around and googled a bunch, finding a couple of possible contenders, but no real standouts. ... And then I remembered: AB, my Lonely Planet writing friend, had praised Korean-Japanese Namu to no end. I checked out the menu and found one ramen bowl on the list.

And not just any ramen bowl. The menu item read like so: Handmade ramen noodles, pork miso broth, slow braised pork, deep fried egg, daily green vegetable, bean sprouts, kimchee $16 (6 orders available daily)

Done and done. With her 13-year-old in tow (see cutey above), MC2 and I hightailed it to the Inner Richmond a week or so ago to see if Namu's Korean-American chefs could do ramen as well as the Japanese could. We sure as hell were rootin' for 'em.

Besides the ramen, there are of course a bunch of other goodies on order at Namu. Like all kinds of tasty pickled veg—from broccoli to Brussels sprouts and yellow beans to cukes.

Oh yeah, and these gorgeous Korean “tacos” — beef short rib with sticky rice, topped with daikon and kimchi salsa, drizzled with a kimchi remoulade and kalbi demi glace all sitting on little squares of nori. OK, so they were a little challenging to pick up and eat, but high marks for their bright flavors and contrasting textures.

Ah, and now the ramen ... The Koreans had taken it and made it their own. Today's green veg was broccoli rabe. The braised pork was oh-so-fork tender. The broth was super savory and perfectly seasoned. And the noodles—irregular in character, firm in texture, not quite your typical Japanese ramen, but excellent nonetheless.

Loved having all that spicy kimchi swimming in the bowl and watching the yolk ooze out after popping the deep-fried egg.

Thank you, Namu and AB!

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