Three new affordable Japanese restaurants brighten the scene
Ramen is akin to pho in Vietnamese food or other filling soups in Asian cuisine. Maybe it's my craving for bold, pronounced flavors that have made me not so much averse to basic broth soups as just bored by them. I typically prefer udon or soba noodles when it comes to Japanese soups for more texture and emphasis on the noodles and may never be obsessed with ramen, pho, or the like. But Kirimachi Ramen, a month's old spot tucked away in North Beach with 1950s diner chairs and laid back vibe, does well by the genre. All bowls are hefty at $10, with veggie, pork, or chicken as a base. The staff told me they haven't found a reliable organic pork source yet, but use Marin Sun Farms chicken, focusing on fresh ingredients. I took to Sapporo-style miso ramen with chopped pork, Chinese chives, bean sprouts, corn, with additional toppings ($1) including kikurage mushroom, fish cake, and soft-boiled egg.
450 Broadway St., 415-335-5865, www.kirimachi.com
Subscribe to Virgina's twice-monthly newsletter, The Perfect Spot, www.theperfectspotsf.com