When the fog rolls into San Francisco, one thought inevitably pops into my mind: soup noodles (or is it noodle soups?). Either way, my home town rivals Singapore as the gastronomic capital for these and other Asian comfort foods. The next decision, then, is Vietnamese, Chinese, Burmese, Thai or Japanese. Today, I felt in a Japanese mood, so there was still one more choice to make: udon, soba or ramen. The winner was ramen, so my wife and I headed to one of our new favorites and definite short list member, Suzu (no website, tel. 415-346-5083, location 1825 Post St. at Webster, in the Japan Center downstairs from the Kinokuniya bookstore).
Although, unlike most of the foods I will write about, I should first give a caveat that I have unfortunately never had authentic ramen in Japan. So my platonic ideal of what ramen should be is, alas, based mostly on one of the great all-time foodie movies, Tampopo. With that disclosure out of the way, I can say that Suzu's version never fails to satisfy. The noodles, freshly made off-site daily, have the al dente chewiness that I like. But really, for me, when it comes to noodle soups, it's all about the broth and I adore Suzu's broth. Perhaps it's because I love pork, and this broth can best be described as being porky. An added attraction for pork lovers are the two tender slices of braised Berkshire pork shoulder or leg that float atop the ramen. I could devour an entire plate of these heaven-sent slices of pork. For starters, I can recommend the croquettes and the much better than average edamame.