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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hapa Ramen Makes Converts in Ferry Plaza Debut

Posted By on Thu, Jun 17, 2010 at 2:57 PM

click to enlarge Veggie bowl with chicken kara agae ($11.50). - JOHN BIRDSALL
  • John Birdsall
  • Veggie bowl with chicken kara agae ($11.50).
Blame the city's unmet zeal for ramen that rises above the okay, blame the aura of Nopa. Today's Ferry Plaza debut of Hapa Ramen from ex-Nopa sous chef Richie Nakano skewed more event than lunch option.

click to enlarge Richie Nakano. - JOHN BIRDSALL
  • John Birdsall
  • Richie Nakano.
By 11:45, the line for Nakano's ramen (four-day broth and handmade noodles, with extras like slow-cooked pork, chicken kara agae, and sous vide-poached egg) was 40 deep. Stroller-pimping Daria Portillo and Sheldon Lee, both of San Francisco, were there to check it out ― Portillo read about Hapa on CUESA's website.

Lee, who's sort of partial to Katana-Ya, waxed enthusiastic about her veggie bowl with added chicken. "This blows the other ramens out of the water," she said.

Portillo, meanwhile, was sipping spoonfuls from her basic bowl. "The broth is exceptional," she said, seeming to turn against a former favorite, the ramen at Genki. "It's rich, with clean, clean flavors." Portillo was less sure about her slice of pork. "It's really, um ― porky."

Besides its regular Thursday gig, Hapa pops up Saturday night at Louie's Bar and Grill.

Hapa Ramen Ferry Plaza Thursday Market, 1 Ferry Building (at Embarcadero), North Arcade; Thurs. 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Follow us on Twitter: @SFoodie. Contact me at John.Birdsall@SFWeekly.com

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