I asked for Nood-les, but did they deliver?
by Alexander Quebec
This week, I’m featuring the very much hyped up Ramen Nagi in Valley Fair Mall. Now, full disclosure, this
is not the first location in the area, that distinction belongs to Palo Alto. However, since this location was so hyped up, I had to make it here. This was my second attempt to go to Ramen Nagi at Valley Fair Mall. The first time didn’t end so well, but to be fair, I was going to meet a friend for lunch (we later decided to go get some ramen over at Mitsuwa Supermarket). On my second attempt, I was determined to go try again, this time by myself. Being a party of Forever Alone worked in my favor and I was ushered to the bar seating area. Not bad for a 15 minute wait.
The ordering system is pretty fast and efficient, you get a card, you mark down what you want and you give it to a server. I put down some Chashu Pork and a bowl of the traditional Ramen Bowl made to the chefs specs. There are about 5 other options available as well (I’ll list the other ones here at some point, need to find the photo first) but for this first trial, I always like to try a new places take on the traditional before I try the others.
My food came to me pretty quickly. I am a fan of the Chashu pork, and this bowl has been the best I’ve had so far; the meat is tender with the rice coated in the chashu pork drippings, giving the rice a bit of interest to the tongue.
My ramen came a few minutes later. I can describe its appearance as your conventional bowl of ramen; with all of the typical fixings coming with it. What makes this bowl special is the noodles; rather than use the thick noodles everyone knows and loves, they house make their own thin noodles, which have a slightly chewy consistency (but don’t worry, they yield easily to mastication, i.e. it’s not like chewing gum) which give the bowl something to stand out amongst the sea of ramen restaurants prolific in the Bay Area (not that that’s a bad thing mind you). I can now see why people are so drawn to this place.
Funny story, I was actually in and out of the place so fast that the groups behind me and in front of me were still in line when I left.
TL;DR: Yeah, don’t let the mall location fool you, this is a big fish swimming in a very small pond made of tonaktsu broth. ++