Subpar Ramen at Ozumo

L C tips us off to the new winter ramen lunch menu at Ozumo, which recently welcomed Alejandro Morgan as its new executive chef. The new "affordable," five-item menu ranges from a $12 vegetarian ramen to a $14 prawn version with spicy lobster broth (which sounds pretty luxurious and yet is still cheaper than the $15 Sapporo ramen that L C tried on a previous visit and found unexceptional).

Each of the five ramen options comes with bean sprouts, fish cake, bamboo shoots, green onions, and a side of edamame. L C bellied up to the bar and ordered the dish marked "chef's choice," a kimuchi, pork shoulder, and tonkotsu broth soup. But it seems like the chef's choice wasn't really his best effort: L C was unimpressed by the sparse scraps of meat, salty broth that seemed more like soy-based shoyu than the advertised pork-based tonkotsu, and overcooked spaghettilike noodles. Also, some of the add-ons never arrived.

For a Financial District lunchtime fix, L C recommends heading over to Hapa Ramen's stand in front of the Ferry Building rather than Ozumo, where instead of soupy goodness he found only a fat bill and limp noodles. However, after a return visit, L C said that Ozumo's ramen quality had improved: The portion size was more generous and the noodles were better.

Ozumo [Embarcadero]
161 Steuart Street, San Francisco
415-882-1333

Hapa Ramen [Mobile]
See website for location and contact info

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