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.
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A really good friend of mine is slated to open a new ramen house in Brooklyn very soon, so I’d rather not add any fuel the East-Coast-versus-West-Coast ramen debate. Truthfully, I’m not even sure if this debate even exists, but there’s always that potential. In California, the best ramen houses are located in the South Bay, especially in the areas bound by San Mateo to the north and San Jose to the south. Although San Francisco and Berkeley do offer a few decent options for ramen, neither of these food-friendly cities can really compete with the offerings of a city like Cupertino or Mountain View. I know it’s crazy, but it’s true.
Ramen Halu is widely considered the best ramen in San Jose, which pretty much places it in the running for the best in California. I can’t really argue with that sentiment, although Ramen Dojo in San Mateo ranks awfully high as a new contender. Frankly, it’s complicated, and maybe it’s a blessing that San Jose and San Mateo are separated by 30 miles of heavy California freeway. All preferences aside, I will definitely agree that Ramen Halu boats a profoundly rich broth, just tremendous in its depth, and that their in-house noodles are perfect in texture. How can you go wrong? These are the riches of the poor.