Wednesday, October 10, 2012



Chicken karaage.  This karaage should not even be on the same street with Sakura's. It was weirdly powdery and seemed not to have been fried hot enough.  Also, please note the world's tiniest dab of mayonnaise.  What is that. 

Premium ramen -- Miko thought it was bland, but the noodles were amazing.

Tsukemen -- I really liked the broth!  The noodles were also really good, but are they supposed to be ice-cold?  I've never had tsukemen before, but it seems like a weird way to do it because they make the broth cold.
Rating: Undecided
Date: 10/10/12
Time in: 6:40 PM
Time out: 7:20 PM
Servers' recommendations: Premium ramen
What we ordered: Premium ramen with egg, tsukemen with egg, karaage
Number in our party: 2
Final check amount: $25.59
  • It's a trendier place than we're used to.  The decor is sophisticated, with big lanterns and tables made of exposed wood.  The servers are dressed in all black, and the chefs are in whites behind the shiny counter. 
  • The place is filled with the delicious aroma of good-quality ramen noodles.
  • And indeed, the noodles are awesome.  They are firm, al dente, and golden-rich in flavor.
  • However, I (being an annoying, snobbish purist) don't deal well with Japanese fusion.  Even though the noodles themselves were the best I ever had, I kept wishing I could just take them to Yakitori Yakyudori so I could have them with traditional shoyu broth.  The premium ramen broth was SO BLAND.  I had to steal Jenne's tsukemen broth to add more seasoning.
  • Their boiled eggs could really use work -- if they're going to charge extra for them, they need to be the marinated, soft-boiled beauties like Yakitori Yakyudori's.
  • The servers hovered over us a bit too much, but it's a recently opened restaurant, and we could tell that they were still trying to get their rhythm down.  
  • We are as yet undecided about how we want to rate Rakiraki.  We'll revisit this place again in a month or two.  We don't want to rate them unfairly while they're still figuring things out.  
Fried rice, with...frozen vegetables?  Really??

Here's the ramen

Katsu curry.  Nice katsu!

Rating: Two sideways thumbs
Date: 8/25/13
Time in: 5:51 PM
Time out: 6:40 PM
What we ordered: Tonkotsu shoyu with underbelly chiasiu and tonkatsu curry
Number in our party: 2
Final check amount: $28.89

  • The menu is pretty confusing, and they only gave us one to share! It's difficult to look at a menu together when you're sitting across from each other. It's changed a lot since our first visit!
  • The fried rice is fried well but it was so bland that we didn't finish it. And if we don't finish fried rice...That's pretty bad.
  • The ramen is heavy. I struggled to finish it. I would get it without the garlic chips -- it's too much.
  • The katsu was very good, but the sauce made it soggy. Jenne does not like soggy, but I do! We weren't crazy about the curry. I would just get the katsu and rice.
  • They do not make the takoyaki here -- it's frozen. You can get a whole bag for that price at an Asian market.
  • We had a very nice Japanese server, which was an improvement from our last visit.
  • They shouldn't crisp the chiasiu. It should melt in your mouth.
  • Jenne says: The restaurant has a weird macho vibe. It's like they're in some kind of dick-measuring contest with David Chang. (PS: David Chang doesn't care)
Address: 4646 Convoy St
Accepts credit cards? Yes
Parking: Private lot shared with rest of plaza -- it can get a little crazy, but you can usually find a spot if you drive around a few times.  But the spaces are teeny.
Ideal group size: Any
Available vegetarian options: Lots
Noise level: 2


  1. Hey guys hope you're doing well! Shio ramen is very traditional, maybe just not as common as Shoyu. And Shoyu ramen isn't so much traditional as it is very common (in Japan). But heck the way shops serving Tonkotsu is popping up so fast it might be a matter of time until some think that is the most traditional ramen, ha. I probably like Sakura's karaage better too, but only because of the yummy tsuyu dip not offered in most places.

    1. Hi Dennis! Missed this before. I love Sakura's karaage

  2. I don't know if you've revisited RakiRaki but I've been there a few times now and they're super inconsistent, the broth tastes different every time. Sometimes it's amazing and sometimes meh. They seem to be getting better though.

    I don't know if the noodles are supposed to be cold for tsukemen either, but I've tried both warm and cold noodles (now an option, or at least it was two weeks ago). Somehow, the warm noodles seem to bring less flavor with them? Or maybe that's just me.

    1. Hi Adam, thanks for the intel! I'll have to try the warm noodles now. :-)