Ramen Shop Shio Tonkotsu Ramen (Dose of Vitamin P)

Ramen Oakland

Ever since Alice Waters opened Chez Panisse on Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley has been synonymous with seasonality. If there were ever a city to spawn a market-driven ramen house, Berkeley would be it, and of course Chez Panisse had something to do with it. Jerry Jaksich, Rayneil De Guzman and Sam White all worked at the high temple of California cuisine, and the trio joined forces on Ramen Shop in Oakland’s Rockridge neighborhood to start 2013. Their restaurant has become a phenomenon.

The space features a bar up front with a smelt banner overhead, warm wood furniture in back, and a counter that overlooks real-time ramen action, including steaming pots of stock, thatches of house-made noodles and gorgeous sliced chashu. Ramen Shop sells three different bowls, including one vegetarian version. After all, this is Berkeley. Still, pork is the play. Shio Tonkotsu ($17) featured creamy broth, firm noodles, fat-rimmed chashu, oozing shoyu egg, yellow onions, and some distinctly California flourishes. Instead of wood ears, the mushrooms were meaty hedgehog. Up top, I fond frilly mustard greens and Mendocino nori, which was no doubt hand-harvested. The strip was crispy to start and became slippery after sliding into the broth, providing a pair of savory pleasures.

Was this ramen traditional? Partially. Does it matter? No. Ramen Shop clearly has a sense of place, and concentrated pork broth imparted rich, comforting flavor.

Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.

Address: 5812 College Avenue, Oakland, CA 94618

Ramen Shop Shio Tonkotsu Ramen (Dose of Vitamin P)

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Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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