In honor of our recent obsession with ramen, we decided to go to Ramen Shop for our fourth Studio Crew Review. Our good friend (and amazing food stylist), George Dolese, generously welcomed us to our new neighborhood by treating us to dinner. We have all been hearing about Ramen Shop from our Production Assistant, Pete, ever since we moved to Oakland. Pete estimates that he has eaten there for dinner about 10 times in the past few months. So, who better to introduce the restaurant than the restaurant's biggest fan?
PETE WILSON: RAMEN SHOP AFICIONADO
When I began my search for the best ramen in the Bay Area I never guessed how far it would take me. Naturally I began close to home. I found ramen in my Outer Richmond neighborhood, then in different areas of San Francisco. When I felt I had exhausted my nearby options, I started looking further south. San Mateo had several good ramen shops, but it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. In my travels, however, I had overlooked what turned out to be a very important direction: East.
I finally found what I had been searching for nestled in a quiet neighborhood in Oakland. On a nondescript store front, a small sign reads, “Ramen Shop." It's a forthright name with little prelude to the beauty which lies inside. Patrons are greeted with traditional Japanese decor, complemented by large cedar beams and warm lighting. Ramen Shop boasts an expansive full bar, with an impressive selection of spirits and cocktails. Cozied up next to the bar is the open kitchen. This well-executed arrangement allows guests seated at the counter the experience of seeing the preparation of their meal. Cooks can be seen preparing each dish with care and expertise. There is a sense of pride visible in the staff of Ramen Shop, which comes through in every aspect of the experience.
Ramen Shop has a limited selection of ramen on their menu which is revamped daily. This being said, I have never felt as if I was being sold short. There is differentiation between the broths which allows each selection a unique taste. The noodles at Ramen Shop are absolutely superb. There is a distinct texture which is like nothing I have ever tried before. Their noodles have a certain firmness to them which differentiates them from other ramen. The chef behind the counter can be seen tasting the noodles as they cook. The noodles rely on the broth for flavor, and this is something Ramen Shop has down pat. The broth at Ramen Shop allows a multitude of flavors to be packed into one bowl. You will notice, however, that the flavors do not compete with one another. Spice does not overpower savory, sweet exists alongside salty. It is this absolutely fantastic attention to detail which puts Ramen Shop lightyears ahead. If you are a fan of good food, especially if you are a fan of ramen, you are going to love Ramen Shop.
5812 College Ave