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!
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.