Sunday, February 7, 2010

Lunching @ Yakyudori Ramen And Yakitori - A Couple More Bowls

Sorry, so much for variety this week from my last Chashu Ramen post but a couple more bowls I had at Yakyudori Ramen and Yakitori..

Partly cause I was happy that the visits confirmed they are indeed serving some straight shoot'n ramen that I've been craving for a while. A few great American ramen blog reads here.

While reading up on all the exotic ingredient, latest gimmick, and niche flavors are definitely fun, Yakyudori's ramen is an honest 'basics done well' bowl. Maybe for me like if I were in the midwest and an In-N-Out had come to town. Kind of.... But in any case my adolescent joy has been hard to contain these days.

(The kids laughing in the back contagiously joins in later.. so cute!)

Wild innovations and creative twists can wait. In fact I'm quite happy and content with what I've had so far and I hope they keep it up! がんばってくださいね!:)

Their Miso ramen ($7) I had for the first earlier in the week really hit that miso ramen acupoint tsubo for me. This bowl is nothing like the thinned out stuff that resembles a slightly heartier version of the miso soup side one may have had with their California Rolls. This was a semi-opaque red amber colored medium rich Miso flavor with a light aftertaste tang that miso lovers would appreciate. I couldn't find out what type of miso they were using because my two separate attempts at asking the waitresses failed.. ;)

If a type of blend I have an amateur guess of at least one of the ingredients that may have been used but I'll save my comments until (or if) I can confirm.
Got the topping of butter which turned out a pricier thinner slab for $0.50 but a great match to the miso (and corn) nonetheless.

As the butter melts it simultaneously richens and mellows out the flavors. I really dug this bowl and it would probably become what I order the most often here.

The bite-sized chicken Karaage side ($4) I also had was piping hot and good. The lightly marinated and lean (skin and fat trimmed) flavors may not have been strong enough for me to have them by themselves as served though. A dollop of mayo or a tiny mound of salt would've been nice. I guess I could've used some Soy Sauce provided at the table as well but I would've been happier if they just left some of the skin on.. :)

The salt flavored Shio Ramen ($6.50)..

Was again that straight fast ball from the baseball pitcher's mound of Yakyudori.

A nice savory clear broth with a very light mineral note of the (sea?) salt. Haha I said "note", pff. Anyway the oils were on the light side.

Yumm. And here I asked for extra green onions ($0.50) and an extra egg ($1.50). Too bad they were over the hanjyuku half cooked mark this day. A shy before hard boiled but was well marinated and flavorful. The noodles were cooked a tad longer than my first two. Not bad, just that the firmer noodles are what I especially love about these bowls so I hope it's not a new trend. Again they been only open for about two weeks.

The extra negi green onions were super fresh and seemed sliced only moments ago. I might be having this on all my bowls from now. In the beginning I wasn't sure about the provided corn topping for Shio (loved it in the Miso) but I have to admit I did enjoy the bits of the sweet corn later as I worked my very last renge spoonfuls of soup.

It seemed I had better luck than Kirk did with my Takoyaki ($4.50) this day which turned out to be the trendier crispy outer and soft interior like ones I had at Yu-Me-Ya. (I remember Yu-Me-Ya's were even better but the serving was also only four pieces...) These came out fairly quickly before my bowl of noodles so I doubt they're made to order but still fared pretty decent. I did miss that it did not have a sprinkle of Aonori green laver (I love the stuff) and the dough had little or no benishoga pickled red ginger so I did start to tire of it quicker, but then again maybe I should've been sharing it like a normal person.. haha.

If I can indulge myself with a (boring) story.. I worked at a Takoyaki stall during a summer carnival in Junior High and back then a softer fluffy Takoyaki (like miniature okonomiyaki if you will) was the only norm. Inside though were tenkasu bits, benishoga ginger, green onions to name a few and large pieces of soft octopus.. So anyway, while in training I used too much lard to grease the cupped cast iron grill which was also heated a little too high. So most my earlier batches ended up having a rather fried crispy outer which I personally thought was more appetizing but my hires were quick to correct me. If they only knew! ;) Come to think I don't even remember when the trend of lacing threads of mayo started either.. Anyway sorry for the rambling..

Some of the bowls of rice with toppings offered as a side were flavored tofu and also edamame that seemed to help cater a more health conscious crowd. All will change again when actual grilling of skewers will happen which I was told around May when they receive their liquor license.

I do get the "Is the ramen better than Santouka?" thing but these are all different ramen and it's like comparing a cream soup vs. a consomme vs. a miso. So what am I in the mood for today.. I think I'm up for some of that good miso again, and I'm bringing a bottle of green laver with me.. :)

Yakyudori Ramen and Yakitori, 4898 Convoy St., Suite 101, San Diego, CA 92111


K and S said...

mmm ramen, that sounds perfect for lunch today!

caninecologne said...

hi dennis - your posts always make me hungry. i've got to try this place as well as santouka. sadly, i've only had ramen (non packaged) a handful of times and only at hanaoka...i'm sure it doesn't compare to these ramen places...

today's weather is good for eating soup too!

the superbowl is on right now, but do i care????? ha ha.

Dennis K. said...

Hi K&S, luck you you're surrounded by the stuff! But knowing your blog I wouldn't be surprised if you made a bowl yourself.. :)

Hi CC! Seriously, I'm not even interested in it for the commercials anymore! and I've been traumatized after that Janet Jackson 'incident'.. (so dumb)
I really gotta get myself to Ranas for those squash blossom quesadillas you mention too!

KirkK said...

Hi Dennis - I've been getting that Santouka vs Yakyudori questions too.... and even when I explain it... it seems that folks want to believe that all ramen is supposed to be the same. sigh.... BTW, has the temp of the broth improved?

Dennis K. said...

Hi Kirk, my three visits the soups were decently hot but it wasn't fog my eye glasses steamy hot (I don't wear glasses so maybe it's more fog my camera lens..). I did feel the Shio took the quickest to cool down though, I'm guessing because the lighter levels of oil didn't act as a lid as much?
Yeah, I'm happy we have a new Shio and Shoyu alternative here. I actually might visit Santouka more beause of it.. I sort of OD'd on the stuff about a year ago, haha

Mike said...

I'm definitely no ramen expert (unless maybe if you count the instant kind), but from what I've been seeing and hearing, this seems like a must-visit spot.

Dennis K. said...

Hi Mike! I'm no expert either but I thought these were well put together. Nothing exotic but pretty good stuff.. I'm especially happy about the growth in choice in the area.

K and S said...

I'm sending you a "sunshine award" in my post tomorrow, you can pick it up then :)

Dennis K. said...

Wow thanks K&S!! That was really sweet and such a compliment.. Thanks for inspiring me too! :)