Chef-Owner Satoshi Ikuta realizes a dream by opening his first U.S. branch of his Ramen Nagi.
Ramen Nagi doesn’t open until June 25 in downtown Palo Alto, but you might as well get in line pronto for the first outpost in the United States of this Tokyo ramen chain that boasts 35 locations in Asia.
I can’t say I’ve eaten at every ramen joint in the Bay Area, but I’ve definitely enjoyed my fair share. And Ramen Nagi’s may be the best I’ve had.
Yes, it’s that incredible.
These noodles, made fresh on site every day, are a cut above.
Basil and parmesan ramen — yes, really.
At a sneak preview media dinner a week before the official opening, I had a chance to sample five different bowls of ramen, plus a variety of side dishes, most of which are not available at any other Ramen Nagi locale elsewhere.
Chef-Owner Satoshi Ikuta, who founded Ramen Nagi in 20014, even flew in from Tokyo for the occasion.
The signature Myzen Ramen bowl.
Owner Sterling Zhuang knows that people may wonder what a Chinese guy is doing opening a Japanese ramen restaurant.
But Zhuang spent six months living in Tokyo, learning the finer points of ramen from a Japanese friend, before opening Myzen Ramen in Sunnyvale this summer. He also hired an all-Japanese crew for his kitchen.
One top-notch ramen establishment. And that’s saying a lot, given the plethora of ramen places in the South Bay.
I was invited in as a guest of the restaurant recently. I took along my Japanese-American husband, who of course, was quite skeptical at the start. But in the end, he was won over, having eaten his words, and a whole lot more.
Lone diners can sit at the bar that fronts the kitchen.
The brightly-lit dining room has tables packed close together. But you understand why when you see the lines at lunch-time. At dinner on a weeknight, the place was still nearly full.