For a taste of some of the best ramen in the Bay Area, those in the know head to Oakland’s Ramen Shop. Recently expanded to meet the demand (lines were known to wind out of the front door), Ramen Shop has simply added to its light, wood-enhanced space, and – of course – added a couple more imported Japanese noodle-making machines to the kitchen to keep up. And what noodles they are. Slightly chewy, with a hint of nuttiness, they eclipse the competition for many noodle aficionados.
It’s not surprising, considering the level of care that the founders of Ramen Shop put into their creation. After all, Jerry Jaksich, Sam White and Rayneil De Guzman are all alums of California institution, Chez Panisse. The focus on each ingredient that they learned during their time at Alice Waters’ famous restaurant – where best to source it, what’s in season, how will it make the final dish sing – translates beautifully to Ramen Shop, in all its noodle-y glory.
But it’s not just the ramen that keeps the punters coming back time and again – although it is delicious, with typically three types on offer, including a lip-smacking veggie option – it’s also the appetizers. From the renowned house-made pickle plate (which, depending on the season, could feature veg like radish, fennel or persimmon kimchi) to sweet and spicy fried duck wings, they’re so good you might forget why you queued to get a table here in the first place.