Ramen @ Norikonoko, Berkeley

Chasu Ramen with Gyoza @ Norikonoko, Berkeley.

Without a doubt, Norikonoko features more mom-and-pop charm than any other ramen house that I’ve visited in the Bay Area. But to be fair, the restaurant isn’t really a ramen house per se — Norikonoko just happens to offer ramen on its menu. The question then, does Norikonoko’s ramen compete with the amazing versions that I’ve enjoyed at such South Bay specialty spots as Ramen Halu or Ramen Dojo? Well, no, it’s simply not on the same level as those two stalwarts. However, Norikonoko’s ramen does remain satisfying in its own right, and I’d say that it’s nearly equal to its Berkeley counterpart on University Avenue, Ryowa. More than that, the ramen at Norikonoko certainly proves tasty enough to warrant further exploration of the menu: I had the opportunity to see quite a few dishes as they left the restaurant’s tiny, open kitchen. Everything looked delicious.

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