This week's ramen roundup involved slurping miles of noodles and gallons of pork-bone broth ― that is to say, it was a pleasure to research. When I moved back to San Francisco from Seattle in January, it puzzled me to see how diffidently ramen was talked about here, given the well-developed noodle-geek circles that have emerged in other parts of the country, including a few miles south on 101. Then more places started appearing. And I started hearing more and more comparative judgments of the new shops' tonkotsu (pork-bone) broths.
I don't know that S.F. will ever rival San Jose for the diversity and quality of our ramen shops, but when this city is late to a trend, we catch up quickly. San Francisco is insular and picky enough that when we grab onto something that interests us ― cocktails, coffee, and, duh, pizza come to mind ― we hammer away at it until we bring the quality up to our exacting standards. I'm hoping that ramen is one of those trends.