If you are a fan of ramen or japanese noodles, Himawari is definitely worth a visit. Probably one of the best places to get ramen in they bay area, this cozy noodle house serves top-notch Japanese soups at reasonable prices. Although the main attraction is the ramen, the menu is supplemented with other traditional Japanese dishes - kaarage, gyoza, rice dishes; really there is something for everyone there.
The house specialty at Himawari is the Shiro Tan Tan Men, a spicy chili miso flavored soup with ground pork and its absolutely fabulous. This is a complex, rich, full-bodied broth that delights the taste buds. Be sure to add one or two of their hardboiled shoyu eggs. Himawari serves full eggs versus half eggs as many ramen houses do. These are tasty and warm with the yokes still soft and liquidy in the middle. Noodles here are on the thinner side and have a light firmness to them. I have had Tan Tan Men in several establishments across the United States this last year as well as overseas and I can honestly say that Himawari serves it the best. I cannot recommend this place enough and I cannot wait to go back!
The service can vary depending on who is working and how busy they are. The place is snug and at times a long wait, but definitely worth it. The ramen is moderately priced, but add-ons can quickly bring up the cost. The shop is lined with jazz records and classic be-bop and blues play overhead while you mow down. An average dinner for two would fall somewhere between the $30-$40 range.
- Tuesday nights have the longest waits as another popular ramen joint is closed - expect a long line.
- Try sitting at bar and watch the cooks work their magic. The open kitchen gives you a full-view into their techniques.
- They do not serve a vegetarian ramen, but do have other options for herbivores :)
Kaarage (Japanese style fried chicken)
Shiro Tan Tan Men
Kanitama Ramen - Unique! (Snow crab omelet in a soy-broth with ramen noodles)
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