ramen quest - strike 2

8979 westheimer rd nr. fondren

nope, sasaki's ramen didn't cut it either. you can tell by just looking at it. yes, this is strike two on the ramen quest for me. i'm slowly going down my list of japanese owned restaurants in houston and so far i'm coming up with nothing. this is their shoyu (soy sauce) ramen. it tasted as boring as it looked. it looked healthy! the chashu pork was lean and chewy, not soft or buttery at all. at least nippon's was better than this one and had lots of tender chashu in it.

this is what santouka's shoyu ramen looks like, this is the holy grail of ramens. just look at the grease floating on the top of the broth. look at the fattiness of the chashu. santouka is actually more famous for their shio (salt) ramen but i can't even find anyone in houston that makes it. the ramen quest continues.

this is misha's chirashi lunch. the tamago pieces were huge and very good (which in jenny language means not too sweet). i forgot to ask him how his sushi was, but i didn't hear him gripe (which he is quite good at) so i guess it was decent enough for him - which translates into "very good" to the rest of us.

this was D.'s cold buckwheat noodles. they were served with a soy sauce based dipping sauce on the side with minced scallions and wasabi on the side to taste. it was refreshing but not that exciting.

i asked our server if they had softshell crawfish. she nodded so i ordered three since misha and dorothy had never tried it before. fried softshell crab came to the table instead and when i told her i asked for softshell crawfish, she said they never carry it. of course we didn't turn the crab away, but FYI, kaneyama has fried softshell crawfish sometimes.

here's a close up of our fried softshell crab. it was excellent. smaller than nippon's but tastier.

what's next on the ramen quest? i just found this photo of the ramen at kaneyama on yelp. that's not right either... a blog commenter left a tip that i should try sushi jin's. or maybe i'll give teppay a shot. but even better, i'm going back to LA next week. i shall return to the mecca of ramen for my fix. i will come back bearing better photos i promise.


Anonymous said...

I'm probably gonna have to say Japan's probably the mecca of ramen, but that's just me.

...just being snarky. Hah. Nice meeting you Friday.

Want to go on a yakitori search for me too?

The best I could find was Yummi Cafe in Chinatown... and that was... yeah...

neverfull said...

@ justin - yeah, obviously japan would have best ramen, huh? thankfully we have santoukas in the US though. i'll get my fix next week and i'll be okay for awhile.

check out this site. this guy is ramen obsessed and i love his blog which is completely devoted to ramen: http://www.rameniac.com/

neverfull said...

oh and yakitori i'm not so fond of. it's too sweet, but maybe i just haven't had the good stuff. it seems like it's better street food.

anankae said...

So how many times have you watched Tampopo?

Anonymous said...

I tried some of the "subpar" ramen and to my untrained palate they were quite good. I will probably order them next time I am at Sasaki. Ignorance is bliss, no?

My chirashi was great, as were my other sushi meals at Sasaki. They definitely have some of the better fish in Houston.

I tried the lunch sashimi special ($13) and an omakase order which was 3-4 times more expensive and they weren't too far apart, so Sasaki is not a place where you are going to find the crap fish pushed off on the lunch crowd.

At the same time, the omakase wasn't interesting enough of an affair to stray off the menu (Teppay is a better bet for omakase). Sasaki is a pretty straight forward sushi counter, so don't expect unusual items reserved for special customers (maybe I just need to go there 30-40 times before those appear). The best part of my omakase meal was the uni, which was one of the best I've had anywhere. I'd give Sasaki an edge over Nippon just for that alone.

OK, 36 hours left in Paris. I am going to try to make it without breaking down and ordering the weird ass goat enchiladas they serve in their Tex-Mex restaurants.

neverfull said...

@ anankae - only twice. i really wish i had my own copy of tampopo. i'd watch it all the time!

@ misha - what yumminess are you bring me back from paris?

Anonymous said...

if you want yakitori, you need to go to coco's in montrose.

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