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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Go VIP with Limited, Handmade Ramen at Namu

Posted By on Wed, Apr 28, 2010 at 1:22 PM

click to enlarge Go behind the velvet rope. - TAMARA PALMER
  • Tamara Palmer
  • Go behind the velvet rope.
Sitting down for dinner at Namu in the Richmond District last night, we remembered how much our friend Meredith Brody loved the burger. It's an unlikely item for an Asian restaurant to sport, but we ordered it to share with another friend and were glad to have taken her advice. But we were still there for something more traditional, and as we both scanned the menu independently, our imaginations were collectively captured by "handmade ramen noodles, pork miso broth, katsu, deep fried egg, daily green vegetable, bean sprouts, kimchee (6 orders available daily)."

At $16, it's certainly not the cheapest bowl in the city, but it might be the most exclusive, and that was admittedly part of the allure that hooked us two former disco dollies. VIP ramen!

Namu's David Lee told us that the quantity and price are reflective of how labor intensive the dish is. They make everything themselves, and couldn't handle increasing the quantity unless they were a dedicated noodle house.

The restaurant has a way with the deep fryer, which we didn't know since we are always eating those addictive tacos, and while the noodles are the pleasingly chewy star of this bowl, the pork cutlet had the right non-greasy crunch and the poached, lacy-battered egg was an unexpected delight; we thought it'd just be the typical sunny-side-up orb. There was a brightness and restraint to the broth, mild and mellow enough to play the proper supporting actress role.

This is a good dish to order one of for the whole table, which defrays the cost and elicits the bonus feeling of benevolence for the five other parties that will get a chance to order it.

Namu 439 Balboa (at Sixth Ave.), 386-8332

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Tamara Palmer

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