Tonkotsu Ramen @ Kansui, San Jose


Tonkotsu Ramen @ Kansui San Jose.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m always intrigued by restaurants that play hard to get. I have a strange fascination with any place that has the gumption to open during odd inconvenient hours. Likewise, I have a fondness for any chef who forbids substitutions. Surly behavior doesn’t faze me one bit (I work in a kitchen, after all), and I admire the Soup Nazi routine if it’s warranted. To me, these are all positive and confident signs, and they communicate almost everything I need to know about a restaurant – namely, that the food is good and that the chef has a clear vision. Customers be damned, if they don’t get it.

Kansui caught my attention about a month ago when I was researching South Bay ramen, and I noticed the restaurant offered abbreviated hours (Tuesday through Saturday, from 11:30am to 1:30pm). [… read more …]

The Ramen @ Ramen Halu, San Jose


Ramen Halu: Making pho look quaint in comparison.

After a complete three-year absence from professional cooking, I’ve decided to return to the kitchen in just two short weeks. That’s right. I’ll soon be cooking dinner service full-time at one of the Michelin-star restaurants here in the Napa Valley. Personally, I can’t wait to get back behind the stove again, though I really don’t expect this news to have any direct effect on this blog. We’ll just have to see what happens. As it is, my self-appointed mission to suss out the most interesting comfort foods in the Bay Area remains a compelling challenge, and my passion for wine won’t diminish just because I’ve decided to leave the wine business. But enough about me.

• • •

A really good friend of mine is slated to open a new ramen house in Brooklyn very soon, so I’d [… read more …]