Seattle’s soba maker starts making ramen. And sets the bar high in the process.
After a tonkotsu ramen immersion in Fukuoka (and Tokyo), I return to Seattle to try three new restaurants serving the same style of ramen here. One is great, one is good…and one is a flop.
If you’re trying to make authentic Japanese ramen, continue to call it by its original name: ramen. But if you’re not trying to be authentic, then let’s call your creation something new: Wramen.
4649 Restaurant and Ramen Man are steps apart from each other, but each one brings its own distinct style to the bourgeoning Wallingford Japantown.
Mutsuko Soma makes noodles daily in traditional fashion, using a rolling pin and a soba knife. These fresh noodles find their way on the menu in many interesting incarnations.
There’s a ramen boom in Seattle, with noodle pop-ups, new restaurants serving ramen, old restaurants jumping on the bandwagon, and even ramen at a farmers market. (On top of all this, several more ramen joints are due to open in the Seattle area this fall.)…
TanakaSan. The name pays tribute to owner Tom Douglas’ faithful sidekick through innumerable restaurant openings and culinary projects: executive chef Eric Tanaka. The menu pays tribute to Tanaka’s background as a Japanese-American who grew up in Los Angeles eating a diversity of food. Tanaka says…
Fresh from my eleventh trip to Japan, I’m remaining vigilant in my ramen watch for Seattle. There have been numerous changes since my comprehensive critique of our ramen scene in 2011, many of those changes happening on the north side of the city.
Dish: Bitter Melon Beef Chow Fun
Place: Happy Times Bistro, International District
On the plate:Pan-fried noodles with slices of beef, bitter melon, green onions, mushrooms, carrots, and black bean sauce.
Supporting cast/What to do: Your main decision with this mein dish is what…
Dish: Khao Boon Bha
Place: Savatdee, University District
In the bowl and on the plate: From the menu: “Traditional Lao fish soup. Slow cooked catfish in coconut milk, galangal, lemon grass and kaffir leaves. Served with noodles and topped with shredded carrots, cabbage…