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I am so grateful to a chef buddy for turning me on to this joint. Specifically, their ramen. Nope, it’s not on the menu, but it is listed on a piece of paper as a special on the wall. There’s the tonkotsu ramen ($8.50), with smooth noodles and a thicker, starchy porky broth, and then there’s the clearer tonkotsu shoyu, which comes with the squiggly ramen noodles. The shoyu ended up becoming the fave at the table, with its lovely fat globules on top of the broth. Both came with slices of pork (a bit tough, unfortunately), a piece of crisp nori, a creamy half of a hard-boiled egg, bamboo shoots, scallion, and corn. The bowl isn’t as hefty as other places around town, but it’s still fulfilling (and under $10, holla!).

It’s a small and nondescript place with walls the color of green tea mochi. It’s across from the Balboa Theater, so you can warm up with a bowl before or after a movie. Or heck, do like I did on a chilly SF night and drive crosstown for the ramen here, it’s that good. This place is by no means new, but is a pleasant little discovery.

3639 Balboa St. San Francisco
(at 37th Ave.)


  • Japanese
  • Noodles


  • Kid Friendly
  • Lunch