Nestled between strip clubs and well stocked liquor stores on Broadway is a tiny pop-up restaurant called Kirimachi Ramen. Nothing fancy, just ramen. Damn good ramen.
It had been a painfully long week at work and I was in need of some hot ramen and cold beer. I’m sure you know the feeling. We sat in the back atrium and gazed over a bright orange menu with lots of delicious sounding ramen choices. I can’t find beer, though, and it turns out they don’t have a liquor license. Damn. Hot tea it is then. We ordered the tea, then our food: Tonkotsu ramen, Shoyu ramen, tsukemen, miso ramen, and a side of kimchi. The meal arrived quickly and, nestled in my ramen’s chewy noodles, I saw a soft boiled egg. I punctured the egg, causing the perfectly cooked yolk to ooze into the broth. This was a great start. I stirred together the rest of the ramen contents: Tender pork, bean sprouts, kikurage mushrooms, green onions and a pink fish cake. With ramen, some argue that broth is the key while others believe that the noodles are the most important part. I’m an equal part broth and noodles lover. Soggy ramen noodles can ruin a bowl of the most perfect broth, but a bland broth makes a delightfully chewy bowl of noodles tasteless. My first bite told me Kirimachi’s noodles and broth were just perfect. And I mean perfect. The ramen was one of the best bowls I have had in San Francisco, and I eat a lot of ramen. The broth was rich without being too heavy or greasy.
But beware: Kirimachi only makes a limited batch of broth because each broth takes about 12 hours to make! If they are out of the one you were dying to try, don’t fret. It’s just another reason to go back for another visit. Once you’re in, you’ll be served by some of the coolest wait staff in the city—genuine locals just trying to keep their restaurant going strong.
We left full of ramen and still full of cash. The whole dinner was 25 bucks. Unheard of in San Francisco. Maybe they have a deal with the neighboring strip club. Who knows. But it does seems somewhat fitting that Kirimachi is located in the red light district of the City because there is something sinfully good about their ramen. So good that it might be bad.