Coming Soon: Ippo Ramen Pop-Up at Cock-A-Doodle Cafe (Oakland)

Inspired by the lack of good ramen in the East Bay, Steven Yee, a former San Francisco line cook, started a Japanese pop-up in 2012 by the name of Ippo Ramen. Ippo Ramen is one of the original players in the ramen game that got so popular through word-of-mouth that bowls would sell out at nearly every pop-up! 

I was recently invited to an intimate Ippo Ramen media dinner by Christina of East Bay Dish at Cock-A-Doodle Cafe where Steven served up four dishes for us to try. 

We started with cha su don, a very simple rice bowl topped with chopped pork and a soft boiled egg, then we quickly moved to three bowls of ramen from lightest to heaviest - shio, shoyu and miso.

The cha su don was too bland for me and the pork was on the dry side. It needed some kind of sauce to bring it together.

The ramen was tasty and had springy noodles. Each ramen broth has a base made of beef, pork and shellfish. Out of the three ramen bowls I tasted, I enjoyed the shio and miso broth best. The shio has a light and salty broth, whereas the miso was rich and flavorful.  I enjoyed the cook on the eggs, but I wish it was marinated so there's some flavor to it. 

Ippo Ramen is simply tasty ramen that you can enjoy with a nice cold beer. If you haven't yet, give it a try. 

Currently, Ippo pops up at mostly breweries and farmers markets, but starting in mid-March they'll also be popping up at Cock-A-Doodle Cafe in Oakland (719 Washington St. Oakland) on Fridays and Saturdays from 5pm to 10pm or until sold out. The bowls are priced at $9. 

For more details, be sure to follow Ippo Ramen on Facebook

Much love to Christina for the invite and to Steven for having us!

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First Look: Okane's Exceptional Traditional Japanese-Style Breakfast Arrives to San Francisco

There are countless brunch spots in San Francisco, but there's nothing like Okane. Okane officially launched their new Japanese-style brunch menu, inspired by traditional kaiseki—small, beautifully plated dishes served at tea ceremonies in Japan—combined with the type of breakfast offered to guests at a Japanese onsen ryokan (hot spring hotel). Patrick and I went to check it out on opening day this past Sunday and we're already planning on coming back with friends. This is seriously one of the best brunches I've ever had. Japanese breakfast, where have you been all my life? 

Each brunch set offers a creative variety of small dishes at an incredible value. Prix fixe menus are priced at $18, $20 or $22, catering to both vegetarian and meat/seafood lovers. I talked to chef Edgar Agbayani and he explained that the idea behind this was inspired by a trip to Japan that he and owner Kash Feng took last year to research breakfasts at Japanese hot springs. 

Patrick and I tried both the Megumi ($22) and Miyabi ($20) sets and loved them. The sets come with miso soup, pickles and a salad to start. We found the Megumi and Miyabi sets to be very filling yet well balanced, varying from light to slightly heavier dishes.

63° onsen tamago from the Megumi set.

Temarizushi - ocean trout, maguro, and squid from the Megumi set.

Goma dofu from the Miyabi set.

Gyuniku shigureni from the Megumi set.

Gindara misozuke from the Megumi set.

Dashimaki tamago from the Miyabi set. 

Chirimen jako from the Miyaki and Megumi sets.

There's also an a la carte menu that's very enticing and hard to resist. The ebitama okonomiyaki is outstanding, crispy outside and fluffy inside. The savory pancake is filled with cabbage and plump shrimp, topped with bonito flakes, kewpie mayonnaise and a sweet umami sauce.

Towards the end of our meal, Chef Agbayani surprised us with a bite of their sashimi-style beet and shiso brine cured Scottish salmon for us to try. The salmon is absolutely divine, a must order! So silky, buttery and flavorful.

Update 2/18/2017 - The breakfast at Okane was so spectacular that we went to visit again with our friend Sandy, who writes the delightful food blog Foodhoe. I had to order the Megumi set, okonomiyaki, and beet cured Scottish salmon again.

In addition, we tried the Kashiwa set, which is focused mostly on chicken dishes. The chicken teriyaki and curry were very flavorful and delicious! It is a lighter option compared to the Miyabi and Megumi options.  

Chef Agbayani surprises us again during this visit with a claypot of kani lobster gohan for us to enjoy. The best way to describe this is like a buttery Japanese risotto with crab, lobster and mushrooms that have been cooked in a stock made with Maine lobster shells. It is so rich and comforting! 

Brunch is served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m on Sat/Sun. Trust me and go check it out. You'll never look at brunch the same way again. 

Thank you so much for having us over, Okane! 


Visiting Okane

Location

669 Townsend Street. San Francisco, CA 94103

Website

http://www.okanesf.com

Brunch Menu

https://www.scribd.com/document/338134520/Okane-Brunch-Menu

Phone

415-865-9788

Hours

  • Brunch
    Saturday – Sunday: 10a.m. – 2:00 p.m. 

  • Lunch
    Monday – Friday: 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. 

  • Dinner
    Monday – Thursday: 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
    Friday & Saturday: 5 p.m. – 11 p.m.
    Sunday: 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.

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Curry Up Now Oakland Review: Not Your Average Indian Fare

I've been a fan of Curry Up Now since they launched their food truck sometime in 2009. I was hooked the moment I took my first bite into their chicken tikka masala burrito. When I heard they were opening a location in Oakland, I was beyond excited. 

Patrick and I went to check out the new spot for lunch and had a bomb ass feast. It's located in Uptown at the corner of 18th Street and San Pablo Ave, next to music venue The New Parish. The spot is spacious and looks really cool, yet minimalist and modern. I love the bright natural lighting coming from windows. 

The food at Curry Up Now is not your average Indian fare. You'll find a variety of dishes with creative twists that stay true to bold, authentic Indian flavors. 

The "Death by Tikka Masala" Thali plate is insanely delicious, a must order. It comes with tikka masala chicken (which I highly recommend substituting for butter chicken instead), chana masala, and paneer tikka masala with turmeric rice, papadum, fluffy naan, root pickles and pico kachumber. 

I've never had anything like the Indian Railway Cutlet before. It is schnitzel-like patty of fried maggi masala noodles with vegetables. It's kind of like a patty of fried ramen noodles, very interesting texture and flavor that we really enjoyed and would definitely get again. 

The vada pav at Curry Up Now is the best I've had. It's a perfectly seasoned mashed potato fritter that's sandwiched between an Amul buttered bun with garlic chutney and a dust of seasoning. I love the lightly fried coating that reminds me of the same crispy shell as a dim sum taro puff. 

And to end our fantastic meal, we had the fennel crepes with cardamom whipped cream. They're kind of like thin dense pancakes in a light sugary syrup. Very tasty!

Even though I was super stuffed at the end of the meal, the food was so good that I wanted to eat more! 

Thanks again for having us over, Curry Up Now! A very big welcome to Oakland. We look forward to coming back. 


Visiting Curry Up Now Oakland

Location

1745 San Pablo Ave, Oakland, CA 94612

Phone

510.858.7475

Menu

http://www.curryupnow.com/menuoak

Hours

  • Monday-Sunday 11am-9pm

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