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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ramen Doraku's a Nice Addition to the City's Noodle Shops

Posted By on Thu, May 19, 2011 at 11:13 AM

click to enlarge Newly opened Ramen Doraku looks nice, has reasonable prices, and food that's good, if not great. - LUIS CHONG
  • Luis Chong
  • Newly opened Ramen Doraku looks nice, has reasonable prices, and food that's good, if not great.

We slipped into brand-new Ramen Doraku in the Outer Sunset the other day, slurping noodles and chowing on curry. Our bowl of tonkotsu ramen ($7.95) included fish cake (naruto), green onions (negi), sliced black fungus (kikurage), bamboo shoots (menma), bean sprouts, seaweed (nori), half of a seasoned soft boiled egg (hanjuku tamago, steeped in shoyu-mirin), house-made chasu, and an unusual topping of sliced red onions. The egg and succulent chasu were the highlights; fresh noodles of average quality and decent-tasting pork-bone soup merely satisfied our hunger. The lukewarm broth was neither fatty nor oily, but lacked the richness of proper tonkotsu ― disappointing to hard-core rameniacs, perhaps, but irrelevant to diners just seeking a bowl of noodle soup.

Add-ons: more ramen noodles ($1.50 more), a side of chasu ($3.95), and an extra egg ($1), the last two listed as appetizers. Although we yearned for options like buta kakuni, the lack of extra toppings probably means that prices can remain affordable.

click to enlarge Ramen Doraku's tonkotsu ramen, $7.95. - LUIS CHONG
  • Luis Chong
  • Ramen Doraku's tonkotsu ramen, $7.95.

Katsu curry donburi ($6.95) was beefy, but had nothing on Murracci's. Doraku's short menu (10 ramen, three curries) also lists a handful of well-made appetizers like gyoza ($3.95) and potato croquettes ($2.95). SFoodie spoke to chef Michael-san (no last name given), who explained that he's still fine-tuning, and that everything should be shipshape six months from now.

Doraku won't impress Santa Ramen fanatics (by the way, Santa uses hard-boiled eggs), but it's a comfortable space with reasonable prices, and fills a gap in the short list of city ramen shops.

Ramen Doraku: 1042 Taraval (at 20th Ave.), 592-8801. Lunch daily, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Dinner Sun.-Thu., 5-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 5-11 p.m.

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Luis Chong

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