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Monday, July 21, 2014

Would You Wait Two Hours for Ramen? These People Did

Posted By on Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 1:30 PM

click to enlarge PETE KANE
  • Pete Kane

At first glance yesterday, the Japantown half of the J-POP SUMMIT Festival appeared to be a well-run street party. There was a well-contained area for sake tastings and cans of Sapporo, plenty of toilets, a refreshing ratio of vaping to actual smoking, and all the Sweet Lolita fashion you could ask for. But after the obligatory detour through New People and a stroll around Peace Plaza, pretty much everybody wanted the same thing: a bowl of ramen, from any one of J-Pop's six purveyors.

Consequently, the lines running up Post Street were absolutely interminable, even when factoring in San Francisco's strange love of queuing up for commonly available foodstuffs. Ramen is delicious, particularly on a foggy day, but by 3:15 p.m., volunteers in yellow shirts were closing off the lines, fearing that people might not get served before the festival ended at 6. I asked five groups of people who'd waited a long, long time how they felt upon obtaining their quarry at last.

See Also: S.F.'s Longest Food and Drink Lines, Ranked

click to enlarge PETE KANE
  • Pete Kane

Sara, Adam and Kirsti

What they're eating

Shoyu ramen from Mattou Seimen (although they'd wanted miso ramen from Horaiya)

How long they waited

Two hours

Was it worth it?

Sara: [hesitating] Yes.

Kirsti: I'm so hungry!

click to enlarge PETE KANE
  • Pete Kane

Arianna and Colette

What they're eating

Tokushima ramen from Men Oh

How long they waited

An hour-and-a-half

Was it worth it?

Arianna: Yes. You know -- you're part of the crowd. You're here for the whole experience, right?

Colette: Yes, it is delicious!

click to enlarge PETE KANE
  • Pete Kane

Nielsen and Jason

What they're eating

Tonkotsu from Tatsunoya

How long they waited

Two-and-a-half hours for ramen, although Nielsen also waited an incredible four-and-a-half hours for a ramen burger, starting at 10 a.m. This was after an aborted attempt to get ramen on Saturday, when the waits were even longer.

Was it worth it?

Jason: Yeah. Yesterday, it was like sardines.

Nielsen: The ramen was worth it. The burger was not.

click to enlarge PETE KANE
  • Pete Kane

Sam, John and Cici

What they're eating

Tonkotsu from Munta

How long they waited

An hour to an hour-and-a-half, after "we chose the shortest line." This doesn't include travel time from Fresno (Sam and John) or Los Angeles (Cici).

Was it worth it?

Sam: I watched an entire CoG Game [for League of Legends].

John: I drank some beers.

Cici: I give it seven out of ten.

click to enlarge PETE KANE
  • Pete Kane

Kurt and Jessica

What they're eating

Shoyu ramen from Mattou Seimen

How long they waited

Two hours

Was it worth it?

Jessica: [slowly shakes head]

Kurt: It's not bad...but to elaborate: no. It was probably better along the side streets.

click to enlarge PETE KANE
  • Pete Kane

Even after all that energy expended on creeping forward in line all afternoon, some people still managed to toss their ramen away without even finishing it. Oh, well.

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About The Author

Pete Kane

Pete Kane

Bio:
Pete Kane is a total gaylord who is trying to get to every national park before age 40

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