Men Oh Tokushima Ramen

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There's always a huge stir about ramen spots in the city.  The Richmond district seems to be a breeding ground for ramen these days.  Having been spoiled by delicious ramen in the South Bay, I've never found one in the city that comes close to my beloved Santouka (see post HERE).  I have yet to be wowed by any ramen in the city.  The Men Oh Tokushima Ramen is a chain from Japan whose second branch has made a appropriate presence in the Richmond district of San Francisco.  The first being in Union City, where a lot of other ramen spots seem to sprout up.  Truth be told, I did hear of this ramen spot opening in Union City, but there were no raves so I assumed it was another bogus ramen spot (ahem...Ajisen Ramen see post HERE).  For some reason, Men Oh Tokushima opened to rave reviews in SF, so I had to check it out for myself.     
I didn't plan it, but I happened to show up on grand opening weekend and their first lunch.  Good thing that ramen was half off that weekend because the service had major kinks.  Not only that the layout has two extremely large communal tables that take up most of the space and is odd for a ramen joint. 

The Tokushima don reminds me of the shredded pork bowl at Daikokuya (see post HERE), but doesn't quite make the cut.  Its still probably the best pork and rice bowl in the bay area.  The tokushima don has both the chasu and the butabura topping the short grain rice drizzled with a sweet-salty sauce.  The size is a little bigger than most don options at ramen restaurants, but this simple bowl of pork and rice made a pleasantly surprising starter to the ramen meal.
The tokushima ramen has a rich, but light flavor.  It's not even close to the complexity of Santouka's broth.  Its quite clear with a salty flavor.  Topped with bamboo shoots, sliced of the signature thinly ribbon cut pork as well as the fatty pork slices, this ramen tastes distinctly different than other ramens I've had before.  Overall, its one of the better bowls of ramen I've had in the city, but nothing that would make me declare that my search for good ramen in SF is over.  One noticeable difference in this ramen is that the noodles are straight and somewhat softer.  They lack the chewiness and bounce of standard ramen noodles.  They remind me of thin Chinese noodles that have soaked up too much sauce.  In other words, not a good thing in my book when slurping up ramen.
The murky, fatty broth indicates one thing:  fatty, porky broth that is synonymous with tonkatsu ramen.  There were no globules of fat in this tonkatsu ramen, which worried me a little.  Fears affirmed when I took the first sip,  the broth that lacked the richness and depth of the familiar tonkatsu ramen.  Again, not a fan of the noodles, especially in a rich broth.

The Tonkushima comes with a raw egg, which is probably not for the faint of heart, but definitely heightened the taste.  Stirring the raw egg into the soup creates a thicknesss to the broth that helps to coat the noodles with more flavor.  I highly recommend it with the egg.  Don't worry, the egg is stamped with a "P" to indicate pasteurization.  

Address:                Men Oh Tokushima Ramen
                               5120 Geary Blvd.
                               San Francisco, CA
Type:                      Japanese/ramen

Popular chomps:    Tokushima ramen
                                tonkatsu ramen
                                spicy tonkatsu ramen
                                tokushima don

Chomp worthy:       Tokushima don        

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