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There’s a new ramen master in town.
Tokyo-based Ramen Nagi’s first U.S. location has landed in Palo Alto, bringing “king” ramen bowls to Silicon Valley. We got a sneak peek during a media preview, when chef Satoshi Ikuta — in town for the restaurant’s launch — served his ramen to American diners for the first time. Ikuta founded Ramen Nagi in 2004, and has since opened 40 restaurants across Asia.
What sets Ramen Nagi apart is that diners can customize the offerings, which include four standards, as well as weekly specials ($13-$14). All the ramens here are dubbed King Ramen, a moniker indicating ramen’s star status. Noodles, thick and thin, are made daily with water purified in-house. Those fresh noodles cook in a flash — 20 to 30 seconds is all it takes — but the big stock pots of tonkotsu, a pork-based broth, simmer for more than 20 hours.
THE VIBE: Nagi means calm and tranquil in Japanese, and the dining room has a certain zen to it. Ikuta has his hand in everything from Nagi’s food to decor. Pops of red highlight the slabs of Japanese black cedar on the walls, and Japanese music fills the room. Staff are clad in T-shirts, bandanas and aprons, all designed by Ikuta and emblazoned with the words “Universal Noodle Creators.”
FOOD: Savory and comforting, the Original King bowl holds thin noodles, tree mushrooms, tender chasu pork loin, crunchy green onion and the secret-recipe Nagi Fire Sauce. We weren’t able to fully customize our bowls at the preview, but diners get an omotenashi — which means hospitality in Japanese — order sheet to fill out and express preferences for light, normal or heavy strength of flavor (salt), for example, …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle