Downtown lunchtime dining abounds with salads imprisoned in clamshell containers. But expertly executed noodles? Not so much.
Therein lies the fiendish appeal of the Ramen Bar, a casual, smartly designed new endeavor from Michael Mina and his partner, Tokyo native Ken Tominaga. The duo forged a relationship when Mina became a regular at Tominaga’s longtime Rohnert Park sushi spot, Hana Japanese restaurant.
Tominaga prefers ramen broths that steer toward the lighter, soy-based styles found in Tokyo, as opposed to the milky-rich tonkotsu that gets locals here all worked up. But rather than split stylistic hairs, indulge in a deliciously California-fied variation: noodles in a dashi-based broth filled with delicate shrimp-and-crab meatballs, cherrystone clams, freshly shucked corn, a squeeze of shrimp oil, and a few mizuna sprigs. Ramen Bar, 101 California St. (near Davis St.), 415-684-1570
Originally published in the September issue of San Francisco