Dedicated to my first patron and my most ardent supporter, Gwen
I’ve been to ramen places up the west coast. You’re not missing a “and down” in that sentence; I haven’t actually eaten ramen in Southern California. Despite that, my friends who live in the Pacific North-West have been gracious enough to take me to places they like. This is one such place, which I was taken to by, funnily enough, Gwen.
But let’s get into it! Ramen Ryoma was great! Even if the experience was somewhat amusingly tempered by the lack of parking and the long-ish wait, both of which were caused by a local anime-fan-focused event directing all the weebs to the local designated weeb spot (here). Like a typhoon sent by god to smite us for our hubris, the absolute storm of weebs walking around almost gave me whiplash. Luckily, we managed to find parking, and, luckily again, it seemed a handful of parties ahead of us abandoned ship to try their fortunes elsewhere. This was not the titanic wait I was braced for.
And, inside, I was somewhat surprised at how normal it seemed. Rather than the raucous hurricane I was expecting, it was just sort of a restaurant. I’m also pretty sure I was vaguely hungover at this point, so it was honestly welcome.
I had the Spicy Miso Ramen, and I promise the serving is larger than the picture portrays. It was a very deep, arcing bowl. To start, I was really wowed by the noodles. They had all the wonderful imperfections of hand-made noodles that attract your attention, and all the irregular texture that catches the soup. They were everything I want from noodles. Snappy, chewy, flavorful, and surprising. Perfect in their own special way.
The broth was delicious and thick, rich pork soup layered with delicious, delicious miso, almost more reminiscent of a rich tonjiru than a ramen broth. Bold, flavorful, and impactful. Also the spice that came from the spicy ground meat was the perfect complement to cut through just how rich the broth was.
The pork was tasty, as I recall, but the real winner was the Spicy Meat. Every time I read it my mind goes “You’re spicy as hell, and your meat is huge.” In reality, it wasn’t actually that spicy, but it was very tasty. I remember the slightly bouncy, incredibly flavorful ground pork out of all the other toppings. Very much a winner in my book.
I want to take Ramen Ryoma home with me. It’s the kind of place I want to eat at for lunch at least once a week. And while it doesn’t unseat my current favorite ramen place, it does place solidly in A-tier.
Update: I went again recently and the sink is super weird. It has these sloping basins on the sides and sheer drops on the parallel. The design of the sinkhead is very… shopping center statue-core. Lots of curves and sharp edges. The sink is functional in all ways except you have to stoop over it because instead of hanging over empty space, it’s embedded in what looks like a cabinet. A little awkward, but the design is interesting enough to merit some points for not being the world’s most “It is a Sink” sink.
Ramen Ryoma is A-tier
Ramen Ryoma’s Sink is A-Tier.